Sep 17 2012

 

 

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Growing up, no matter what, my parents always voted. As a young child, my folks would take me into the voting booth and show me the ballot and how to vote. In schools, the media and almost every institution, we were taught it was our patriotic duty to cast a ballot. After all, there were millions around the world who couldn't live the joys of American freedom.

Our democracy was a source of pride and over the years the goal in elections was to always make it easier and more accessible for Americans to vote. The one real duty required of a citizen was to participate in this great democratic experiment. Not to vote was to take for granted your freedom.

How times have changed.

In state after state, Republicans are doing everything possible to make it harder to vote. They are requiring elaborate ID's , doing way with early voting to make it inconvenient for hard working voters, limiting the hours that the polls are open and challenging voters by profiling minority voters. Many of the ID's required are a form of a poll tax since they cost money to obtain. Some forms of ID are not held by senior citizens, the disabled or those living in poverty.

All of these restrictions on voting is done in the name of preventing voter fraud. They have purged the voting rolls of tens of thousand names, mostly Democrats, on order to have a 'pure' registration list. Where these expensive purges already have been completed, out of the thousands reviewed they have been hard put to find a dozen voters who shouldn't be voting. The Republicans in key states like Ohio, Florida and Wisconsin have gone from top to bottom ...from registration to voting.....making it tougher to exercise our patriotic duty.

Voting is as American as apple pie. It should never be a place of purges, hardships or being profiled so someone can enhance their personal political power. Citizens in many other countries can share stories with America how odious these kind of laws can be to the practice of democracy. In the old days, both parties fought to register voters and get out the vote.

Now the Republicans in a quest to defeat President Obama are repressing people's right to exercise a citizen's most important action by making it hard, costly and difficult to vote - especially if you are poor or working middle class. Shame on those leaders who are practicing such policies