Thursday, September 1, 2011


I've long been proud of the fact that my home state of Colorado was one of the earliest states granting women the right to vote -- in the early 1890s, three decades before the 19th amendment was added to the Constitution. [I learned only recently, however, that a major motivation for that reform was to strengthen the voting power of established families and reduce that of unmarried miners.]

I also strongly believe in encouraging maximum voter turnout, such as by early voting procedures, so that people do not miss the chance to vote because of the vagaries of weather or personal schedules on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.  And I know the long history of efforts by the powerful then in control to prevent blacks from voting in the South and newer citizens in other places.

Accordingly, I have been appalled to learn of the widespread efforts to disenfranchise legal citizens who wish to vote by the enactment of various measures to raise obstacles to registration and voting. The supporters of these measures claim they are combating "widespread voter fraud," despite the absence of indictments or convictions for such offenses. Anecdotes are trumpeted to obscure the facts.

This appears to be a concerted Republican effort to prevent likely Democrats from getting registered and voting, but I hope even solid Republicans would oppose or condemn such challenges to liberty.

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