Gessler’s crusade was 
intimidating, ineffective

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September 2, 2012

Dear Editors:

While the Sentinel deserves kudos for Sunday’s editorial –“Gessler’s crusade was intimidating, ineffective” – it didn’t go far enough to expose Republicans’ nationwide voter suppression efforts beyond “Gessler’s crusade”.

In 2008, the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s “voter ID” law, concluding that – while such laws could be illegally discriminatory – Indiana’s was not per se unconstitutional.

On Tuesday, a federal court rejected Texas’s gerrymandered redistricting map because it discriminated against minorities (i.e., likely Democratic voters).

On Wednesday, a federal judge permanently blocked Florida’s discriminatory limits on organized voter registration efforts – which had prevented even the League of Women Voters from conducting its traditional drive, under threat of fines and criminal penalties.  As intended, the effect of the law was to suppress registration of new Democratic voters.

On Thursday, a federal court rejected Texas’s strict new “voter ID” law, because it would also disparately disenfranchise Hispanic citizens constitutionally entitled to vote.

On Friday, South Carolina’s trial against the Justice Department for (as in Texas) not pre-approving its “voter ID” law ended with the three-judge panel questioning whether that law reasonably accommodated citizens unable to obtain the required documentation – thereby “preventing legitimate U.S. citizens from exercising their right to vote”.

Also on Friday, a federal judge ordered Ohio to restore three early voting days for all Ohio citizens, because the Republican legislature’s withdrawal of that previously granted right had the intended effect of discriminating against minority voters.  Mitt Romney and local Republican letter-writers had falsely accused President Obama’s campaign of suing to deny voting rights to overseas military personnel – when its clear intent was to restore voting rights for all Ohioans. 

Unfortunately, the Sentinel has remained irresponsibly silent regarding Republicans’ un-American voter suppression efforts – and on the subversion of the “secret ballot” by the Colorado County Clerks Association (belatedly recognized by Gessler two weeks ago).

              Bill Hugenberg                   543 Rim Drive, GJ 81507
              .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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