Letters to the editor

Aug. 21, 2013 @ 04:42 PM

Vote suppression, pure and simple

I am responding to Tuesday's letter from Roger Chance, who thinks there is no right to vote specified in the U.S. Constitution. 

On the contrary, Amendment Nine, contained in the Bill of Rights, states:  “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”  More directly, Section Two of Amendment Fourteen states:  “But when the right to vote at any election...is denied...or in any way abridged...”  And again, Amendment Nineteen states:  “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” 

Civil rights and women's suffrage were struggles for – among other things – the right of every citizen of voting age to cast a ballot and have it counted.

One of the most regressive bills passed by the N.C. General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory this past season is a 57-page assault on voting rights in our state.  Much attention has been focused on voter ID, a “solution” in search of a problem, but some other provisions are even worse. 

It so happens that people more likely to vote Democratic (minorities, students, disabled individuals and people who work odd hours and/or multiple jobs) will have a harder time voting due to this bill's multiple restrictions.  Can this be chance?  No, it's vote suppression, plain and simple, and it's blatantly unconstitutional.

Joan F. Walsh

Durham

Voting is a right

In response to Roger Chance's letter "Voting not a right" (Aug. 20), I submit the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:  "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."  And the 19th Amendment: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

And the 24th:  "The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax." And the 26th: "The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age." Voting is a right and a privilege and a responsibility.  For more reading, see http://www.fairvote.org/voting-a-right-a-privilege-or-a-responsibility and 

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/09/voting-right-or-privilege/262511/

Blair Chesnut

Durham

Kinnaird’s sour grapes

Harry Truman famously advised those who could not stand the heat in the political kitchen to get out. It’s good to see that his advice has not gone unheeded by Ellie Kinnaird,  who is ditching the State Senate in a huff because she can no longer have her way. Not content to be a small fish in a small pond, Sen. Ellie, famous mostly for claiming that Democrats are smarter than Republicans, is taking her toys and going home, leaving the constituents who elected her to represent them to their own devices.

Kinnaird’s sour-grapes resignation is a good argument for term limits. After all this time she seems to feel that her presence in elected office is essential. Maybe it is to her, but certainly not the electorate who will replace her with yet another cookie-cutter liberal politician.

While I don’t agree with some of the moves the Republican majority is making, I can already see two positive outcomes. First is the light being shed on the excesses of the Democratic majority such as the Rural Development Center slush fund for Democratic politicians and the other is the unseating and/or resignation of politicians who consider themselves irreplaceable.

Bye, Ellie, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Robert L. Porreca

Hillsborough