Discard pile

Not every vote is counted
Forty-some years ago, chances were you knew it if you were being denied the right to vote. Perhaps, like Mississippi civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer, you climbed those courthouse steps, taking your life and livelihood in your hands, then failed to interpret the Constitution to the registrar’s satisfaction.

Nowadays your registration can be denied and you may never know it. This may be more likely to happen if you’re black, but it can happen to anyone, anywhere. Perhaps you filled out your voter’s registration card and turned it in months ahead of the election, but when you go to your polling place on election day, you learn that your name is not on the election judge’s list. You can still vote provisionally, so you do, fully expecting that your ballot will be counted. But it may not be.


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