American citizens’ voting rights are under attack

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: October 13 2012 | 8:41 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 1:54 am in

“Axis of evil”: voter suppression, gerrymandering, Citizens United, Electoral College. These ensure political influence for elites.

Rather than enhancing voting rights, conservatives propose to make it more difficult to register/vote.

These efforts thwart democracy. Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai admitted that the GOP pushed voter ID laws in order to suppress Democratic voters and help ensure a Mitt Romney victory in Pennsylvania.

They attack ex-felons’ voting rights as well. Our justice system has both racial and class flaws which unfairly target people of color as well as those without adequate funds to defend themselves.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s stringent requirements for ex-felons are similar to only three other states — all Southern — with a history of disenfranchising people of color. Great company you’ve put us with, governor!

The Gazette Editorial Board (June 27) called differences between Branstad and former Gov. Tom Vilsack’s policy “those extremes.” Since when did the constitutional right to vote become “extreme?” We are living in an ever-increasingly conservative world, but if we label constitutionally protected rights as “extreme,” we are on track to accept even more overreaching conservative policies.

Conservatives want to decrease the days citizens have to register and not allow for same-day registration, which would greatly diminish black turnout.

Citizens United enabled just one billionaire to outspend either side. Redrawing of political boundaries all but ensure incumbent success and those who win majorities can still lose in the Electoral College.

People need to defend voting to regain what used to be a non-negotiable right.

Thomas Sass

Iowa City

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