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home : opinions : opinions August 1, 2014


7/2/2014 1:36:00 PM
Legislation will suppress voters
Bard Kittleson, Barron

After hearing from senior citizens and older veterans of both parties expressing concern about the attempts of voter suppression, I feel compelled to comment.
Those of us who grew up during and after WW II recall being taught that voting was a privilege and also an obligation of all Americans due in part to the sacrifices of so many to preserve the Constitution and democracy we as Americans enjoy. When going to the polls, if you were rich or poor all Americans were equal.
A little history, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower championed the Civil Rights Law in 1957. The Voting Rights Bill was passed under President Johnson in 1965, and was extended by four Republican presidents, Nixon in 1970, Ford in 1975, and Reagan in 1982 and in 2006 President Bush signed it into law.
Now, sadly and to the demise of American democracy, as many of us knew it, modern day Republicans are attempting to suppress votes by requiring voter ID and other restrictive measures under the false, unproven pretense of voter fraud.
In Wisconsin voter suppression gets even worse where Gov. Walker, the Senate and Assembly Republicans have passed secret redistricting, opposed online and same-day registration, eliminated weekend and early voting hours making it harder for students and those who commute to employment creating long lines at the polls, some 3 to 4 hours to discourage the frail, elderly and minorities.
Now they have passed Act 159 that creates limited opportunity for those in nursing and veterans homes where many reside due to physical disabilities only. How sad is that?
For those in power to attempt to restrict the votes of others for personal and political advantage is shameful, unconstitutional, un-American and contrary to the principles our country was founded on.
Remember them at the polls. Our Constitution is being challenged.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, July 11, 2014
Article comment by: Randall R. Kniess

Since when is having to show an ID for anything other than the privilege to vote, so restrictive? Go into any store and there are signs stating that a photo ID is required for purchases of tobacco, liquor, beer, fishing and hunting licenses, firearms, opening a bank account, applying for a welfare programs and food stamps, applying for Social Security and Medicaid, applying for a job or unemployment, rent/buy a house, apply for a mortgage, drive/buy/rent a car, get on an airplane, get married, adopt a pet, rent a hotel room, by a cell phone, visit a casino, pick up a prescription or by certain cold medications, get a permit to hold a rally or protest events, give blood donation, by a "M" rated video game, visit a doctor, get a physical for the DOT, and the list is probably only getting started. But the only concerns of Democrats are that someone just might be disenfranchised? How laughable! I know that the Bard Shakespeare could spin a tale, but the Bard of Barron is doing a pretty good job of spinning a whopper here! Or maybe he just likes the idea of cheating the privilege of voting once and not 3 or 4 times. And by the way Bard, President Johnson may have signed the Civil Rights Bill, but it was voted against by the majority of Democrats. And I won't even repeat what he said about the blacks once he did. Johnson was a racist at heart.

Posted: Saturday, July 5, 2014
Article comment by: Bonnie Fwank

What would you suggest to combat voter fraud? Democrats claim that it doesn't exist but some precincts in the northeast had 108% voter participation rate.
It is quite easy for the old or infirmed to get absentee ballots.
You need a photo ID to buy alcohol and I assume the old, the poor and democrats use alcohol.
The votes trying to be suppressed are the out-of-state voters, many who were being bussed in from the Chicago area and this has been well documented but seldom reported in the media.

Posted: Friday, July 4, 2014
Article comment by: Wayne Arnold

Proud to have served with Bard on the County Board for many years.

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