Letter to the Editor: Only humans should have the right to vote


The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice opposes House Bill 121, which seeks to amend the charter of the city of Seaford to permit business entities, such as corporations or limited liability companies, that own property in the city of Seaford to vote in municipal elections. The bill passed out of the House of Representatives’ Administration Committee and is now on the ready list.

It should be noted that, out of over 8,000 registered voters in Seaford, only 340 voted in the last municipal election. There are currently 234 business entities in Seaford that own property in the city. Permitting them to vote in municipal elections would give them an outsize influence in how the city is run. It would also dilute or even nullify the votes of minorities. Further, the bill treats businesses unequally by not giving Seaford businesses who rent property a voice, thereby even further diluting minority voices. Seaford already permits nonresident human property owners to vote in its municipal elections. With already low election turnout, the combination of resident business entities and nonresident persons could nullify the voice of Seaford’s resident persons.

Finally, only human beings should have the right to vote.

In the Citizens United case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that corporations are persons for the purpose of contributing to campaigns, thereby vastly increasing the amount of money a corporation could contribute to a campaign and the amount of influence it could exert, thereby diluting the voices of human citizens. Allowing entities to vote in municipal elections is a slippery slope, that, if extended further, could dilute and restrict the right to vote of human citizens, especially marginalized citizens of color.

HB 121 is bad governance that should be stopped in its tracks.

Clara S. Licata

Legislative/Advocacy Committee chair

Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice

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