This week, the Takoma Park city council passed a charter amendment by a 6-1 vote on first reading that, if approved when before the council again in the coming month, will be in the best tradition of cities and states leading the nation in advancing voting rights.
True the Vote used numbers that skewed their results in their favor when analyzing turnout in every single state they tested. Once recalibrated, True the Vote's claim that states with new voter ID laws, enacted or pending, experienced an increase in turnout is patently false.
I generally take the longer view and think Supreme Court nominations are the most significant actions U.S. presidents take, but besides anything Obama has already done or will do in the future, the election itself made democracy better -- maybe.
The reelection of Barack Obama was tarnished by a lower voter turnout rate than 2008, dropping from 61.6 percent of those eligible to vote to 58.2 percent, or a decrease of 3.4 percentage points. Here, I place the 2012 turnout rate in historical perspective.
A combination of swift tax hikes on lower- and middle-income earners and drastic cuts in social services would not only stunt economic growth, it would place an immediate burden on the most vulnerable. And unfortunately, a disproportionate number of the most vulnerable are African American.
For more than two years Republicans have campaigned and legislated against the right of certain groups of people to vote. The Republicans' strategy failed because it awakened the most powerful force in a democracy: the determination of the voters themselves.
I have been politically active since my college days as a member of the University of Texas Young Republicans. This year, I am supporting President Obama and all the Democratic candidates for whom I can vote. The Republican Party has crossed the Rubicon.
The religion of civic responsibility and duty has atrophied. There has been a decline in both the quality of education and the quality and quantity of civic education in the schools, only now beginning to be righted.
It's true that a small faction of undecided voters truly do not make up their minds until Election Day -- but for such a small portion of a state's electorate to matter, the polls need to already be a toss-up.
No doubt, if we want responsible governance, we need to provide responsible citizenship; but, if we want to lead the world, we must do so first and foremost by example, lest we lose our credibility because we can't walk the talk.
Be accountable on November 6th by exercising your right to vote. When the candidate you elect follows through on a campaign promise, be mindful of your reflection. Washington might be broken, but whether we like it or not, Washington is a reflection its electorate.
In this age of unmitigated self-expression, it seems that its standard-bearer generation -- equipped armies of iPhones and information -- has forgotten that our votes are meant to carry with them actual utility.