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Letters to the editor on mail-in ballots, learning history, George Jones concert

  • Published Monday, Oct. 8, 2012, at 12 a.m.

Letters to the Editor

Include your full name, home address and phone number for verification purposes. All letters are edited for clarity and length; 200 words or fewer are best. Letters may be published in any format and become the property of The Eagle.

Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Wichita Eagle, 825 E. Douglas, Wichita, KS 67202

E-mail: letters@wichitaeagle.com

Fax: 316-269-6799

For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.

Do IDs match mail-in ballots?

I recently received a mail-in application to apply for a mail-in ballot for the upcoming election. I find the content of this form very interesting and possibly in conflict with the law requiring a valid picture ID to enable one to vote.

The requirement of a picture ID is to enable officials at the polling place to match the picture with the person standing in front of them. The form I received in the mail is very explicit about sending a copy of a valid ID in with the request.

I may be missing something here, but I fail to see how sending a copy of an ID to a person in the county election office satisfies the requirement for a picture ID. How can the election office verify that the person sending the application is the same person on the ID?

I can understand and support wanting to make voting as easy as possible by providing multiple avenues to do just that. But under the new rules, it seem the voters have to be a little more proactive than in the past. They might have to actually go to the courthouse or some other county office, in person, to get a mail-in ballot. Otherwise, how can there be ID matches?



History and voting

Each year during my 38 years as a public school social studies teacher, at least one student would challenge the relevance of my subject matter. “Why do we need to learn about history?” the student would ask. My response would be some version of learning the lessons of history to avoid the mistakes of the past. This could be as obvious as avoiding present dangers based on the knowledge of either personal or shared experiences. After several examples of this sort, most students would at least grudgingly accept the fact that history is important enough to know.

What does this have to do with voting? My response is the same. Past experience can enlighten present decision making.

Neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney has proved to be skilled in teaching the lessons of recent history as a means of educating voters about why his political ideology would be better for the nation. But at the Democratic National Convention, a great teacher did provide a convincing history lesson. That teacher was former President Clinton. Obama should be thankful that he and Clinton share a political ideology and are on the same side of history.



Didn’t fill shoes

Wichita had the opportunity last week to see and hear a living legend of country-Western music, George Jones.

One of Jones’ signature songs is “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes.” It’s a great hit that laments the loss of the great country-Western singing legends to time. On a larger scale, the song also refers to the loss of the “cheating and drinking” songs – the heart and soul that comprised the backbone of country-Western music throughout the years.

Sadly, for those attending the concert last week, Jones was not able to fill his own shoes. He had been down with a major illness for the past four months that rendered his performance at the Orpheum Theatre almost shameful. Jones was hoarse and out of breath during most of his songs (recovering from his illness).

Of course, I was thrilled to even hear the whispers of his hoarse voice as he took us through his legacy of many great hits, but I was very disappointed that Jones did not cancel the show for another date in return. Given Jones’ stature in country-Western music, his shining star would almost demand that he only perform when he can give his very best performance.

It is doubtful that many fans would feel the way I do, but it was an extremely disappointing performance.



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