Commentary: The Power of Your Vote in South Carolina

Few states have made the fundamental right to vote so difficult.

Posted: 02/06/2014 12:58 PM EST
Commentary: The Power of Your Vote in South Carolina

South Carolinians are known for our “strong opinions” on sports, weather, politics even BBQ. As a native of the Palmetto State, my friends, family, and neighbors share their opinions with me just about every day. And that has been my favorite part about traveling around the state as I run for the United States Senate hearing directly from the people.

Unfortunately, South Carolina Republicans have repeatedly tried to make it more difficult to hear the opinions of us citizens. They are attempting to silence our voices by playing politics with our most fundamental right the right to vote.

In few states has there been a harder fight for the right to vote than in South Carolina. The Department of Justice has intervened in over 100 election laws through the Voting Rights Act over the years, including a voter ID bill. That’s why, when the Supreme Court weakened the Voting Rights Act, many attorneys thought the court got it wrong.    

But after my initial disappointment in the Supreme Court decision, I quickly remembered the lessons of the civil rights movement and what comes naturally to all South Carolinians to organize our neighbors, to mobilize our communities, and to make our voices heard. I decided that I was going to share my opinion with anyone and everyone who would listen. And I want you to join me. 

Contact your state Democratic Party today and find out what you can do to help register and educate voters in time for this year’s election. It is too important to wait.

Rick Wade, a Democrat, is a small business owner and former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He served as the director of the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services from 1999 to 2002, and is currently running to represent South Carolina in the United States Senate. 

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks. 

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(Photo: Richard Ellis/Getty Images)

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