LETTER: Voting restrictions

Gary Hobin/Leavenworth

To the editor:

Let me see if I have this straight.

The leaders of the Republican Party, of which I have been a registered member for over 50 years, have stated their belief that the message of the GOP is so unpopular with the mass of American voters that the party has no chance to win in a future election. The Republican Party is, in short, too out of touch with voters in Kansas and elsewhere to compete. Therefore, where the Republican Party has sufficient legislative strength, those legislators must ensure that we limit the people’s opportunity to those “we” consider safe.  

These legislators will accomplish this by restricting the hours polling places are open, or limiting the number of polling places, making it illegal or at least extremely cumbersome for anyone to assist fellow voters in casting ballots, requiring things like notarization of mail-in ballots, limiting the period in which mail-in ballots must be received. Like things the Republican-led Kansas Legislature has just done.

If that won’t work, we’ll jury-rig voting districts to ensure our candidates win, and “gerrymander out” the opposition.

As a longtime Republican voter, I find that message insulting.

I have more faith in Kansas voters than, apparently, do the leaders of the Kansas Republican Party.

Given a message that focuses on real issues, on values and not on hype, on governing not just remaining in power, Kansas voters will make the best choices for our state. And that means all Kansas voters, not just those our so-called party leaders consider safe.

If the party cannot develop such a message, then it deserves to lose.

I suggest the Republican legislators in both the state House and Senate actually read and ponder the meaning of the U.S. Constitution, especially the amendments that pertain to voting rights. The clear intent of these words is to expand, not limit, voting by all citizens. Your actions demonstrate you are on the wrong side of history.