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Letters to the Editor: GOP voter suppression has given Democrats no choice but to pass HR 1

People in masks wait in line
Voters line up to cast ballots in Milwaukee during Wisconsin’s primary election on April 7, 2020.
(Associated Press)

To the editor: Columnist Jonah Goldberg properly extols the 2020 election as a success with record turnout and no evidence of fraud.

But then he belittles HR 1, the For the People Act, which would put in place uniform federal election rules for all 50 states; preserve early voting, voting by mail and same-day registration; and require states to establish independent redistricting commissions. Goldberg says this is unnecessary because the 2020 election was a great success.

Never mind that former President Trump and his followers have been screaming, falsely, that the election was stolen. Never mind that in the state legislatures they control, Republicans are doing everything in their power to suppress the vote.

Republicans do not want everyone to vote. They have used gerrymandering to give themselves far more power in Congress than their voter support warrants. Enacting HR 1 is necessary to preserve democracy.

Samuel G. Platts, Sylmar

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To the editor: I take exception to Goldberg’s column.

In 43 states, there are bills pending to curtail ballot access, ostensibly in part because of voter fraud that has yet to be proved but has been a rallying cry from the right. Had voter suppression laws (and that is exactly what they are) not been introduced and passed into state law, HR 1 in its current form would not have existed.

In Republican-led states, the tighter restrictions target minority communities whose members tend to vote Democratic. How is banning the distribution of food and water to voters standing in line in Georgia aimed at preventing election fraud?

States are proving incapable of fairly developing and administering election laws, so the federal government has to step in to ensure fairness and the right to vote.

Sara Isgur, San Diego

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To the editor: Goldberg opines that with Trump gone, there is plenty of time to get voting rights, well, right.

In fact, there were protections in place until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was gutted by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013, and since then Congress has not acted to strengthen and reinstate parts of the law. Some of the safeguards were deemed no longer necessary by the Supreme Court, opening the floodgates on just the sort of voter suppression the legislation was enacted to prevent.

In effect, the Supreme Court reinstated the legacy of Jim Crow. Voter suppression has metastasized to Wisconsin, Ohio and other states.

HR 1 attempts to undo the reactionary political activism of the Supreme Court. The bill is right and necessary for our times.

Carl Selkin, Pasadena

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To the editor: Trump’s flagrant and blaring message, among others, was if more voters vote, Democrats win.

Goldberg’s latest column is hyperbolic and misguided. The Republican-controlled state legislatures are out to suppress the vote. Democrats see this for what it is and are proactively trying to stand in the way and to stand up for voters.

“Harvesting ballots” and “federalizing elections” are terms that inflame.

James Sanders, Santa Barbara


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