The Sanctity Of the Right To Vote


By Roger Kostmayer


Let’s start with the facts and what it means to play by the rules. Voting matters. In a democracy, easy and early voting are good things. More voters is always better than fewer voters, regardless of for whom individuals may vote, because it means more freedom, more democracy, more stability and more participation. High levels of participation in free and fair elections is the path to a functioning government of, by and for the people.




Our country has a sordid history of disenfranchising segments of our society, using devices like the poll tax and literacy tests. In something of a revival of those unconstitutional events, many states recently passed voter suppression laws using non-existent voter fraud as the cover. Suppression isn’t a minor blemish on our democracy as it affects some 21 million Americans who have neither a passport nor a driver’s license, and many other hard working Americans who depend on flexible times and weekends for early voting. The real purpose of these nefarious laws is to gain political advantage by reducing the number of voters from certain unsympathetic demographics such as the poor, the elderly, students and minorities.




In the key swing state of Ohio, Republicans are trying to rig the election system by voter suppression. The Republican governor signed into law Republican legislation that eliminates certain early voting, deliberately makes absentee voting difficult, and they are now preventing Sunday voting. This is un-American. The President of the Akron City Council said the actions violated “everything this country stands for.”




Similarly, in Wisconsin, Republicans just passed a bill to end early voting on weekends and in the evenings. This isn’t a coincidence, nor is the fact that these regressive anti-democracy voter suppression tactics are happening in states where ambitious Republican governors want to be President of the United States.


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