You and Your Congress

You and Your Congress

You and Your Congress

You and Your Congress

Excerpt

THE UNITED STATES, fortunately, is a country in which no politician can deny any citizen the right "to petition the government for a redress of grievances." Hence there is no need for any American to force his way into the polls with a gun, like 17-year-old Andrew Jackson. Even though you cannot vote now because of your youth, a residence requirement, a faulty registration system, or your inability to pay a poll tax, you can appeal to your friends who can vote, and they can elect legislators more interested in extending than in contracting democracy.

All the needless barriers to balloting will be reduced--polls will be kept open longer where necessary, absentee voting will be made easier, and registration will be simplified--as soon as enough voters demand such action.

Similarly, the inequalities resulting from unfair division of voters into groups can be lessened. We must continue to be represented in the U.S. Senate by states, rather than on a basis of population, because of a Constitutional clause that it would be difficult to amend. But the other clauses and customs that interfere with equitable representation can be changed at any time. There is no taboo on electing leaders competent to suggest and fight for revisions in our laws. The forefathers were very wise men, but they had no monopoly on wisdom. There are statesmen in our time, too.

There is no excuse for serious misrepresentation of the people in the House of Representatives. The present frightful variations in the size of Congressional districts are the fault of our state governments. Those districts can be made more nearly equal at any time by state officials. It has not been . . .

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