To the editor,

In response to Jeffrey Benny’s letter, I suggest that recent state voting laws do not suppress votes and are not racist, but are common sense and an attempt to uphold election integrity.  

It’s important to read the actual laws. Comments by some politicians and corporations show they didn’t actually read the laws. I did, but cannot find racism. Mr. Benny mentions “Jim Crow,” but nothing comparable to the that era is in current voting laws.  

To learn about “Jim Crow” listen to the great eight-minute address by Congressman Burgess Owens speaking to the Senate Judiciary Hearing on Voting Rights, April 20, 2021. His history includes segregation in the South during the REAL Jim Crow era. He calls the claim echoed by Mr. Benny in last week’s paper “Absolutely outrageous.” His speech is on YouTube. It provides an explanation for those who did not live during that era, and denies that any current voting laws are suppressive or racist.

New laws require people to register and vote in their county. Legal voters must be adult citizens, and show proof of residence in the county. Some states offer extra hours for voting, extra days of voting, weekend voting, no-excuse absentee ballots, and ballot drop boxes. Registering people for voting is increasing and is encouraged by all political parties. Water can be provided, self service. Laws do not permit campaigning close to the polls on Election Day (150 feet most often) or turning in large numbers of absentee ballots.  

Voter ID: According to March 2021 Rasmussen Report, American support of voter ID has risen from 67% in 2018 to 75% now. ID is easy to get and is needed to enter a school, get a library card, buy a drink, rent a car, or board a plane. Voting ID is available for those without a driver’s license. Provisions are made for the homeless. Implying that minorities cannot get voter ID is insulting; Congressman Owens calls it offensive. ID is not racist, and not a problem! Voting is not related to skin color.

Legal citizens cannot be canceled from voting. It’s their responsibility to register, research, and vote. That takes initiative, but is not cancel culture. Mr. Benny did not like the term “purity of the ballot.” I consider it positive: one registered voter, one ballot, signed and/or turned in by that voter. The intention of the laws are to make it easy to vote, but hard to cheat. Sounds right to me!   

Julie Peterson

Cambridge

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