If the fairness of the election process is doubtful, can a place be called a democracy? If the majority uses its power to take away the voting rights of the minority, can a place be called a democracy? If those in power manipulate the voting process to reduce their opponents’ voter turnout, can a place be called a democracy?
We’re living through a period of Republican tyranny — sad, ironic tyranny. Republicans have used their majority to pass legislation that would shorten the time for voting, require voter ID, eliminate straight-ticket voting and same-day registration and forbid counties from voter registration programs. If these were to become law, the result would be lower voter turnout because of disenfranchisement and complication of the process. Who would be most affected? Senior citizens, the disabled, women (especially the newly married or divorced) and minorities. All these are Democratic constituencies. North Carolina’s rise in voter turnout over the last decade would be reversed — something Republicans desperately need if they are to hold power.
Ironically, Republicans claim that they want a return to the Founding Fathers, but our Founding Fathers saw fairness as the core idea in the new democracy. They began with a spiritual concept: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. The doctrine of fairness appears all through our founding documents. Fairness is basic to America.
What the Republicans are doing in Raleigh is not just unfair. It’s shabby, Third World, petty, sordid, tawdry, demeaning, last-class. It belongs to the Ralph Reed “win by any means” school of subterfuge. It’s not worthy of people who claim to hold Christian values, like Philippians 2:3. It’s certainly not American.
So what are Republicans afraid of anyway? Oh my, could it be the voters?
— Lee Ballard