As a high school US History teacher much of my time is spent discussing our country’s history of inequality and disenfranchisement. It’s the most frequent recurring theme in American history. Recently in a discussion on the movie 13th and the Reconstruction Amendments, I explained that taking the rights away from citizens or being hesitant to give full rights to others rarely happens in a vacuum and is often brought about from a nefarious desire to control and subject. Reflecting on my teaching and planning out future lessons, I cannot help but see parallels in our recent fight to expand voting access within the Baltimore Teachers’ Union to American History’s worst sins.
I recently heard Bobbi Green, an educator at Patterson High School make a very clear, concise, and obvious point: voting should be the easiest thing a person does. Regardless of whether it is three hour waits to vote early in the Georgia gubernatorial election, purging of voter rolls in Indiana, or limiting voting to a few sites during inconvenient hours in our own union there is always a reason why the powers in charge put up barriers to voting. We have to ask ourselves then; why does the BTU want to limit voting and why have they so strongly condemned the effort from BMORE to expand access to mail-in and eventually online voting?