Your reader, Thomas Oatway of Valencia, made statements in your letters to the editor this morning (May 13) that once again caught my attention. People who speak emotionally as opposed to rationally meet the qualifications for closer scrutiny as it is usually easier to prove them wrong and dispel their “rumors.”
Mr. Oatway’s statements about voting restrictions indicate that he cannot see that political swords are usually double-edged and usually cut in both directions. That is to say that any law that restricts or limits action for one usually has the effect of restricting or limiting action for a great many, and on both sides of the aisle.
Take Georgia’s new voting law, for example, the target of Mr. Oatway’s letter, I would imagine. Just what does that voting law do? Let’s take a good look and see how it affects Democrats, but not Republicans. The following is taken verbatim from a New York Times analysis of Georgia’s voting law, citing its 16 worst provisions — the comments are my own:
Voters will have less time to request absentee ballots — this affects both sides.
There are strict new ID requirements for absentee ballots — this affects both sides.
It’s now illegal for election officials to mail out absentee ballots to all voters — this affects both sides.
Drop boxes still exist, but barely — this is not quantified, but it still affects both sides.
Mobile voting centers are essentially banned — the mere wording is subjective, but it still affects both sides.
Early voting is expanded in a lot of small counties, but probably not in more populous ones — more subjectivity
Offering food or water to voters waiting in line now risks misdemeanor charges — this affects both sides.
If you go to the wrong polling place, it will be (even) harder to vote — this affects both sides.
If election problems arise, a common occurrence, it is now more difficult to extend voting hours — this affects both sides.
With a mix of changes to vote-counting, high-turnout elections will probably mean a long wait for results — this affects both sides.
Election officials can no longer accept third-party funding (a measure that nods to right-wing conspiracy theories) — I don’t even know what this means, and yet it still affects both sides.
With an eye toward voter fraud, the state attorney general will manage an election hotline — not only is this speculation and conjecture, it still affects both sides.
The Republican-controlled legislature has more control over the State Election Board — until the legislature flips, so it has the potential to affect both sides.
The secretary of state is removed as a voting member of the State Election Board — how does this affect anyone?
The GOP-led legislature is empowered to suspend county election officials — more double-edged swords.
Runoff elections will happen faster — and could become harder to manage — this statement is an opinion, and it still affects both sides.
Well, there you have it, from the seat of liberal thought itself, the New York Times. What this tells me is that the majority of Democrats are so lost, so incompetent, so physically and mentally challenged, as compared to Republicans, that they need someone to not only hold their hands, but also to literally pick them up and carry them out to vote. I don’t believe that’s really the case, but from the complaints I’m hearing you would think it was. Analyses such as these actually do more disservice to Democrats by making them out to be indigents.