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editor's pick

We need amendment to rid elections of big money

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To the editor:

Our Constitution aims for a perfect union. We are not there yet.

Sept. 17 was Constitution Day, and we need to celebrate that this document has served as a vehicle of change over the past 200 years to ensure our civil rights. Amendments to the Constitution have made us a more perfect union, such as the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote; the 13th Amendment, which banned slavery; the 17th Amendment, which created the popular election of U.S. senators; the 24th Amendment, banning the poll tax; and the 26th Amendment, which lowered the voting age to 18.

However, in this period of social and political turmoil, we recognize that we have a long way to go to achieve equal representation. The growing influence of money on our election systems underpins a growing disconnect between citizens and the issues that they care about, from healthcare to climate change, from access to broadband to under-investment in our schools and local communities.

Over the past 40 years, a series of Supreme Court decisions has not only unleashed torrents of money coming into our elections, but it has limited the elaboration of election spending laws. We need to acknowledge the need for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would allow Congress and the states to regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money to influence elections.



The writer is a member of Martinsville City Council.


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