The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the Editor: Voting is more important than you think

As a volunteer who has been phonebanking with numerous other Grinnellians since this summer to help One Iowa and Poweshiek County Democrats get Iowa’s citizens out to the polls this election, I was distressed when I discovered that less than 20 percent of Grinnell’s own students voted on October 5. After Campus Democrats spent many, many hours tabling, postering, canvassing, chalking, etc. … that’s it? For a school that prides itself on a well-informed, socially responsible student body, such low voter turnout is not acceptable. Perhaps people aren’t aware of what’s at stake.

Iowa is currently one of only six states (including DC) where same-sex couples can legally wed. One of the main issues of the Republican Party of Iowa’s platform is opposing gay rights: not only do candidates wish to add amendments to both Iowa’s and the United States’ constitutions banning same-sex marriage, but they even seek to repeal sexual orientation from the Iowa Civil Rights Code. This anti-gay platform precedes eight other issues in their running platform, issues such as “Health and Human Services,” which should probably be addressed before writing discrimination into our constitution.

The Republican Party of Iowa also wants to get rid of three of the judges who, in 2009, ruled that preventing same-sex couples from marrying is unconstitutional. The American Family Association and the National Organization for Marriage (remember Prop. 8?) have together donated nearly $300,000 to air a television ad persuading Iowans to vote against keeping these judges, solely because these groups don’t agree with the ruling.

Voting is truly the easiest thing we can do to prevent Republicans from taking away the victory we finally achieved in Iowa. Let’s prove that Grinnellians really do care about civil rights and equality. Vote for State Representative Eric Palmer, vote to retain the Iowa Supreme Court justices, and vote “No” on Measure 2 (to hold a constitutional convention), as it could make it easier for Republicans to add a discriminatory amendment to the state’s constitution. Students’ last chance to vote on-campus will be this Wednesday, October 13 in the Forum South Lounge (11 a.m.-5 p.m.). On-site voter registration will be available.

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