Today’s midterm voting results will probably usher many new faces into Congress. If you aren’t quite sure where to vote, it’s easy to find the location of your polling place here:
Today it seems fitting, however, to take a moment to note the incredible number of Americans who do not have the right to vote. Michele Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, writes in a piece for Mother Jones that “there are more African Americans under correctional control today—in prison or jail, on probation or parole—than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.” Alexander discusses the effects of the drug wars: in many states African American men make up 80-90% of drug arrests even though they do not make up the majority of drug offenders. With conviction comes disenfranchisement. Enfranchising all citizens in the United States has long been an uphill battle, one that is not yet complete.