Thomas Oatway | Voter Suppression a Real Danger

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Arthur Saginian (letters, May 30) mentioned my letter of May 13 as an example of emotional speaking as opposed to rational thinking. He was referring to my comments on voter suppression bills, specifically the one enacted in Georgia. He argues “that political swords are usually double-edged and usually cut in both directions.” What he forgets to mention is that the sword may be blunt on one side and razor-sharp on the other side.

If a Republican-controlled legislature takes control of the state election board, it may be able to guarantee the Republicans never lose another election, so the legislature cannot flip and this definitely does not affect both sides. If early voting is expanded in small Republican-leaning counties, but not in the populous Democratic-leaning counties, this will definitely not affect both sides equally. Longer lines and wait times to vote will suppress voting in the population centers. If the secretary of state is removed as a voting member of the state election board, and power is transferred to the Republican legislature to void an election result, how is this equal for both sides? I could go on and on. 

I have to ask: When is voter suppression permitted in a democracy? This kind of voter suppression legislation, if not stopped, is the beginning of the end of our democratic experiment. Welcome to Russia, or Belarus, or Myanmar.

Thomas Oatway

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