Additional Information on Human Serve

In its March 1996 “National Plan of Action,” Human SERVE, warning that America was waging “a war on children” and “a war on women,” exhorted welfare advocates to “inform clients [i.e, potential registered voters] that government is slashing the services and benefits they and their children receive.”

That same year, Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby made the following observations about SERVE and the work it was doing vis-a-vis voter registration:

“No one is disenfranchised in this country. Unlike days of old, there are no poll taxes, literary tests, gender barriers, or property requirements to come between any citizen and the voting booth. If U.S. elections are marked by chronically low turnout, it is not because voters are kept away. It is because they stay away. Some are apathetic, some are ignorant, some are simply self-centered. Why badger such people to register? What would they bring to an election? If SERVE wants to mobilize an army of voting welfare mothers, let it do so on its own time and at its own expense. No welfare caseworker — no state employee, period — should have to spoon-feed voting rights to anyone, least of all people on the dole. If they can figure out how to get food stamps, they can figure out how to get registered. They choose not to? So be it. American democracy won’t suffer.”

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