Depriving Americans of the right to vote

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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Franklin Roosevelt once said, "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." 

Unfortunately, Roosevelt was wrong. The 2018 gubernatorial race in Georgia was an egregious example of deliberate voter suppression. Tens of thousands of voters — most of them people of color, immigrants, or others likely to vote for the Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams — were systematically disenfranchised in an election administered by Brian Kemp, then Georgia's Secretary of State, who also happened to be Abrams' Republican opponent for the governorship. 

What happened in Georgia in 2018 is the subject of a new documentary, Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, which will be screened on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 7 p.m., in the second-floor Veterans Room at the Oak Park Public Library main branch, 834 Lake St. 

Think it can't happen here? The fight to ensure fair elections in Cook County and Illinois will be the subject of a panel discussion following the screening, featuring Tonya Rice, director of Elections for the Cook County Clerk's Office; Liliana Scales, director of Advocacy at Change Illinois; Jay Young, executive director of Common Cause Illinois; and Paula Lawson, redistricting issues specialist for the Illinois League of Women Voters. Cosponsored by the League of Women Voters of Oak Park-River Forest and the Oak Park Public Library, this event is free and open to all. Please join us.

Wendy Greenhouse

Oak Park

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Reader Comments

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Kline Maureen  

Posted: November 3rd, 2019 4:27 PM

I don't know Bruce Kline, my reading of this letter leads me to a different conclusion from yours . She certainly seems to think our election outcomes in Cook County can be corrupted and/or manipulated. That's why she's encouraging people to attend the screening and the panel discussion.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: November 3rd, 2019 11:59 AM

You're correct Tom. But I surmise that folks like Ms. Greenhouse think that is perfectly OK here in Cook County (and Oak Park) since the "proper" people are in charge.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: November 3rd, 2019 7:55 AM

Think it can't happen here? It has. Our congressional district is and has been gerrymandered so badly that only one party effectively even runs for office. Most other offices are just hand selected by Madigan. It has been that way for decades.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: October 30th, 2019 8:58 PM

@ Tommy "Real" McCoy: I was proud to be my mothers son. I didn't know my father. I had God Fathers. My daughters asked why they didn't have God Fathers. I told them you don't need them, as a father, I will never leave you.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: October 30th, 2019 5:07 PM

Brian Slowiak, the little I know about voting is your register. To do that you need to provide who you are and where you live. With the Real I.D. drivers license coming to every State in the Country, it is the new way that the Government is going to make sure they are the one's gathering the information. As of now, it is only to fly and to enter some Federal facilities. As time progresses, I think it will become mandatory for everyone to get a Real I.D.. since there is already talk that a Federal agent in another State does not need to recognize a regular State drivers license from out of State. So eventually, instead of having a chip implanted, this will make sure the right person has fully identified themselves in the land of the Free, so when they are asked for their paper's, they will be in order. So to reply to your question about requiring an I.D. to vote, yes I fully support that although I already thought when you went to register, before you would be given a voters card, you have to prove your address and who you are. If you have experienced some other type of verification for voting, please let me know so we can compare notes. Chicago use to be known to have more voters than there were voters alive. I learned a lot of odd things about Chicago, when moving here so I can understand you wanting to make sure all agencies were put on alert about not being able to use your mom's identification. My condolences to you. I am sure your mom was very proud of the work that you did for the Village of Oak Park

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: October 30th, 2019 2:04 PM

@ Tommy "Real" McCoy: While I cant disagree with what you say, as far as voting goes, there is a responsibility for the government to keep and maintain proper voter registration roles. When my mother died, I had to purchase some 12 death certificates for the funeral director to send off to different agencies to notify them that services and attention to my moms name were curtailed. If I could pass one tax law, it would be that every person eligible to vote must cast a vote, even a no vote stating they wish not to cast a vote. They must go to the effort to cast a no vote or be taxed. Read in passing a voter official went to prison for a ballot problem of her making. How do you feel about showing identification to vote?

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: October 30th, 2019 8:58 AM

Brian Slowiak I would like to think as a Veteran, that every American citizen has a right to vote. If anyone is being held back from voting, then I would like to think that the freedom of the press would be all over any suppression and there would be full attempts to contact the one's suppressing the voter. This should be major coverage if it did or every did take place in my America. I do not need to watch a movie. I need action from the press to do their jobs if this ever happens

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: October 30th, 2019 8:02 AM

And the other side of the story, from MSNBC on line newspaper, todays date, "Secretary of State Raffenspergens (State of Georgia) office said that it plans to send notices to voters who have been inactive for the past couple of elections and this notice will come with a paid return postage to give the voters the opportunity to remain active . People will have thirty days to return the notice." That sounds like good government to me.

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