Letter: Protecting voting rights for all

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To the Editor:

# 1 For the People… Apparently, it is not enough to have a Constitution that gives us the right to vote. As we have just witnessed, the ability to cast a ballot is what elections come down to. No sooner have we finished counting the ballots for the recent election than groups across the nation have introduced all kinds of bills to try and limit access to the ballot. In other words, there are groups that want to disenfranchise as many people as possible. Why would anyone want to do that in a country that calls itself a democracy?

There are historical roots to limiting the ballot, laws made by people who owned a certain amount of land, whose houses had a certain number of windows, who paid a certain amount of tax, to keep out people of lesser means, a different gender and color. Over the centuries, the United States chipped away at these limitations.

Connecticut is fortunate that four bills have been introduced in Hartford to maintain the changes that made the recent election work better for all its citizens: H.J. 58, H.J. 59, S.B. 901, H.B. 6464. Having shown their importance in making elections more manageable, these bills deserve support. Moving forward involves changing the state Constitution, something that has happened many times in Connecticut’s history and needs to happen again in the 21st century.

While Connecticut should be a model, states across the country are proposing measures claiming to make elections “more secure.” That’s the new code word for keeping people from voting and comes down to less access: a shorter voting period, fewer and less convenient voting sites, more identification regulations, even fewer mailboxes. Once again, some people want more for certain groups, less for others, and they are introducing measures to limit those who can vote. Let’s keep our country moving forward by supporting H. R. 1 (House Resolution #1) “For The People’s Act,” which safeguards voting rights nationally. It’s number one for a reason: making sure people can vote and their votes are counted are the foundation of democracy.

Betty Krasne, PhD

Kent

Connecticut Media Group