Letter: Republicans Encourage All Eligible Citizens to Vote
To the Editor-
State Senator Julie Lassa recently made a public statement suggesting that “Republicans Don’t Want You to Vote.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Lassa cites 1) redistricting, 2) more restrictive early voting hours and 3) voter ID requirements.
Redistricting, or as parties in the minority like to call it “gerrymandering”, occurs every ten years following the completion of the U.S. census. It is a fact of partisan political life and has worked both ways through the history of our democracy
Portage County moving into the 3rd Congressional District versus previously being a part of the 7th is alleged to give incumbent Congressman Sean Duffy a re-election advantage. Arguably, it did the same thing for the Democrat incumbent Congressman in the 3rd. It’s a wash.
As to early voting streamlining, on September 29th the U.S. Supreme Court, reaffirmed the Ohio law limiting early voting to 28 days versus 35. Fourteen states make no provision at all for early voting. Until recent times no state provided for it.
Responding to the issue of voter ID, the District Court of Appeals in Chicago validated and upheld the Wisconsin voter ID law. Whether or not the U.S. Supreme Court chooses to hear a further appeal, it will most likely be upheld.
Comparisons have shown that, subsequent to the introduction of voter ID laws, minority voter participation in the electoral process has actually gone up.
These three issues are not partisan dictates, but laws enacted by elected representatives of their constituencies.
The members and volunteers of the Republican Party of Portage County have walked many miles, knocked on thousands of doors and made absentee voter applications available to hundreds of residents.
One of our members went to great lengths to help a disabled, confined retired teacher who was concerned that her inability to go to DMV and secure voter ID would deny her the right to vote.
We are eager to help anyone needing information or help in procuring voter ID, registration or absentee voting. Contact our RPPC Field Office located at 1001 Brilowski Road, 715.498.6045. Party affiliation or candidate preference makes no difference.
Every Republican I know wants all eligible citizens to exercise their right and responsibility to vote. This includes our local State Senator who fled to Illinois to avoid doing just that.
Betty L. Barnes, Member, Executive Board
Republican Party of Portage County