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Trampling our voter’s rights

April 21, 2012
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor

There is so much nonsense in Washington D.C., our state government and our local Cape Coral City Government, I thought you all might like to take a look at an important subject that will determine the outcome of all of the elections in this country in the near and far future. That is, our fundamental right to vote and have a fair and unbiased election.

Ever since January 2001 the GOP has been leading an all out effort to block the vote of our elderly voters, our young voters, our minority voters and our poor voters, all key groups who traditionally vote Democratic. Republicans are aimed at shifting the tide by "stacking the deck". With the control of 59 Chambers of State Legislators and 29 Governorships, this has allowed these unconstitutional bills to move forward. Just look at what's happening right here in Florida, the League of Women Voters has suspended their voter registration drives because of the new law that says if someone from their group resisters a voter and does not get that person's proper paper work into the registrar of voters within 48 hours that person can be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. For this reason alone they have registered 81,471 less voters than in the past.

In a Bush Justice Department probe into voter fraud, it was concluded that from 2002 and 2007 out of 300,000,000 votes cast, prosecutors convicted only 86 people of voter fraud. From where I come from, if your intentions are honorable, and it isn't broke, don't fix it. Not the case with the Republicans and there masters the Koch Brothers. Did you know that since 2001 nearly 1000 voter ID bills have been introduced to restrict voter's rights? I believe in a true Democracy we should be promoting our right to vote not restrict it.

If I may, let me sight a few examples. In the state of Wisconsin, after the voter regulation bills were past, a state agency did analyses of the ramifications of these new laws. As per these new bogus rules; one out of five voters don't have the necessary ID to vote, over one third of young people don't have necessary ID to vote, 177,000 elderly voters can't vote and 200,000 college students who have University of Wisconsin ID's cannot use them to vote in Wisconsin elections. It is clear that all of these laws are designed to eliminate those who historically vote Democratic, not to promote the greatest right of each and every American citizen, the right to vote.

All of the above is not enough for the Koch Brothers and their puppets. Not only do they want to restrict the right to vote of our citizens, they are changing the laws on how and when we can vote. Let me quote a piece in Rolling Stone Sept. 15 in reference to Ohio and Florida. "Next year, early voting will be cut from 14 to 8 days in Florida and from 35 to 11 days in Ohio, with limited hours on weekends. In addition, both States banned voting on the Sunday before the election, a day when black churches historically mobilize their constituents". If you're a working person who is juggling your schedule of work, home, kids, school, whatever, you need this extra time to resister so you can do the right thing and vote.

In closing, I would highly recommend to my fellow citizens, Republican and Democrats who want to maintain the highest degree of integrity in our election laws to contact your State Representative and let your voice be heard. They still can't take that away from you. Or can they?

Jim Healy

Cape Coral



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