Voter suppression bigger issue than fraud

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Steve Brown’s column on voting was well written, as usual. And I agree with many of his points. We should all be civil in our political discussions. Members of both parties have failed to understand that we are all Americans with similar, if somewhat different, democratic values.

Where Steve and I differ is in his over-emphasis on voting irregularities. Frankly, they are extremely rare and insignificant when compared to the entire electoral picture.

Many objective studies, as well as numerous court cases, have proven this fact. Per one group of GOP conservatives — “We conclude that Donald Trump and his supporters had their day in court and failed to produce substantive evidence to make their case.”

Georgia Secretary of State Raffensperger, a very conservative Republican, said that the 2020 election was fair and honest. And, “You can’t argue with cold, hard facts.”

However, an obsession with non-existent 2020 voter fraud was the excuse behind the Georgia General Assembly passing one of the most vicious voter suppression bills in the nation. As I expressed at a recent Fayette County Election Board meeting, voter suppression in Georgia is a much greater issue than fraud.  

We should be automatically registering voters, not making it harder. We should make it easier, not harder to vote absentee. We should shorten lines to vote and increase polling locations, not increase line size while cutting locations. We should take politics out of election administration, not insert the General Assembly into it. And we should stop the partisan gerrymandering of our election districts (which negates the will of voters) by establishing a non-partisan election redistricting commission like several other states do with great success.

Jack Bernard

Peachtree City, Ga.

25 COMMENTS

  1. I was a child during Jim Crow….you can thank the Democrats for wanting to continue slavery and then later Jim Crow and true voter suppression…. just read the actual history.,,,the Democrats want to make all minority groups dependent on them to control your lives.
    Abe Lincoln was the first Republican president.

    • I hope this was sarcasm, but in case it isn’t.

      We are all aware that the parties in the early to mid 20th century are not the same as they are today correct? The Democrats you are referencing during Jim Crow were known as “Dixiecrats” or “Southern Democrats.” They were overwhelmingly white and conservative. For example, Strom Thurmond was a Jim Crow Democrat but would find no place in today’s Democratic Party. He even changed his party affiliation to Republican after Civil Rights legislation was passed by the, wait for it…. Democratic Party. He is currently succeeded by a Republican Senator named Lindsey Graham.

      Also, just an observation, but I believe Lincoln was in favor a stronger Union and even took away a couple of State’s Rights, not very (today’s) Republican of him.
      See Wikipedia.

      ^Some good reading here, the 1933-1980 section is most relevant.

      • So true the State Democrats were the worst just like today. They enslave citizens with their liberal political power, they like you poo and ignorant, so you won’t understand that they are taking away basic rights, lying and creating great harm to our country on the State and National level.
        A ditch digger Republican is better than a liberal lying Ivy league educated Democrat.
        Enjoy your inflation, hi gas price and lost 401k.

        • Vics, we had two recent conservative and lying Ivy League educated Republicans in the WH (43rd and 45th). One that led us into a great recession and the other who squandered a strong economy he inherited. As for your take on “basic rights, lying, and creating great harm to our country” … I give you Jan 6th courtesy of one political party. And that’s your recent history lesson and reality check for the day.

  2. Stacey, is that you?

    Trotting out the “voter suppression” boogeyman that Joe Biden labeled “Jim Crow 2.0” and “Jim Eagle”, and Stacey Abrams is blowviating about, eh? Bless your heart. Why let facts get in the way of a good fiction?

    From The Citizen 11/7 titled “42% of all registered Fayette voters have already cast ballots”: Georgia voters shattered the 2.5 million mark for ballots cast prior to Election Day. As of Saturday morning, Georgia’s record breaking early turnout concluded with 2,288,889 voters casting their ballot during Early Voting, with 231,063 showing up on Friday, November 4th, according to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

    If voter suppression was ever an election strategy in Georgia, it has failed. And if you can’t figure out the ID and voting process, you probably can’t tie your own shoes and shouldn’t be voting anyway.

  3. Mr. Bernard – I agree with automatically registering voters if you agree with automatically taxing voters by switching to a fair tax – a simple sales tax in lieu of the income tax. You want to make it easy to vote? Let’s make it easier for all voters to pay what they should be paying in taxes.

        • Gplanman – Where did you get your number of “200,000 Georgians age 18 and older”. According to the AJC.com on 9/28/21, “…The number of voters who don’t have an ID number on file decreased from 272,000 to 154,000….” Care to cite your source? Care to refute mine? Also in the same article, it states “About 93,000 of the registered voters without an ID number have no record of ever voting in Georgia….” This means 60% of those with no ID – have never voted, even before voter ID was required.

          The issue isn’t voter suppression – it’s voter apathy. You can’t make it any easier for people. They have to help themselves just a tiny bit.

          Also – so you can educate yourself as to how easy it is to obtain some sort of voter ID, in regards to ID requirements, please read Georgia Code 21-2-417, which states:

          Georgia Voters are required to show one of six forms of valid photo identification when voting in
          person, during the absentee or advanced voting period or at the polls on Election Day. The valid forms of
          identification are as follows:
          • A Georgia driver’s license, even if expired.
          • Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a free Voter ID Card issued by
          your county registrar or Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS).
          • Valid U.S. passport.
          • Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S.
          Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority, or other entity of this state.
          • Valid U.S. military photo ID.
          • Valid tribal photo ID.

          If a voter does not have one of these forms of photo identification, they can obtain a FREE Voter ID card
          at their County Registrars’ office or the Georgia Department of Driver’s Services.
          A voter without one of the acceptable forms of photo identification can vote on a provisional ballot. He
          or she will have up to three days after the election to present appropriate photo identification at the
          county registrar’s office for the provisional ballot to be counted.

          **********************

        • Geeze planman I suspect you have an ID….what correlation is there between age and ability to get an ID? We live in a modern society, everything functions on personal identification.
          Do we now have a generation of marshmallow people who can’t get up from the couch and arrange to function in an adult world?

      • The real issue is not voter suppression. The significant problems are that the Georgia law allows the state to take over county elections and allows a legislature-appointed elections chair to override the people-elected Secretary of State.

        With scores of election-deniers running for office, it is not irrational to fear that Georgia Republicans will merely change any result that doesn’t suit them. National Republicans long ago stopped playing by the rules – e.g., Merrick Garland vs. Amy Barrett Supreme Court confirmations. What is good for the goose isn’t even a chance for the gander.

        Democrats are no angels either, but so far, they have not resorted to nullifying elections that didn’t go their way. Stacy Abrams made a grand fuss about it 4 years ago, so it’s not just the Republicans. However, only the Trumpites have forcibly attempted to overtake the government to impose their will.

        I’m with Lincoln in hoping that our better angels will prevail, but its difficult to ignore the promises that many in the Republican Party are shouting.

  4. Mr. Bernard – Thank you for this rational letter. Anyone who believes that the 2020 presidential election was stolen – despite confirmations of accuracy in every recount and failure to provide convincing evidence in every court case – is suspending logic in favor of ideology. Expending excessive money upon remedies for nonexistent problems defies rationality. As you point out, the reactionary and suppressive Georgia voting law serves only to discourage and disenfranchise citizens from voting.

    Steve Brown is intelligent enough to know this; yet he persists in promulgating the “big lie.” Joseph Goebbels may be dead, but his propaganda principles are very alive.

    • Good grief…….do you feign outrage at every little thing in life? How dare you think that people should have to be catered to instead of bringing their own water if they want it. You’d think if people can’t go for more than an hour or two without water, they’d bring their own 20 cent bottle of water. And by the way – they’re not denied food and water, the political parties are prohibited from supplying it because that would be an easy, obvious way to sway a voter at the last minute. Get a grip.