Voter suppression is alive and well
Voter suppression is alive and well in Kansas. More than a third of the 40,000 provisional ballots cast in the state’s 10 largest counties were not counted in the November general election – including 2,194 ballots in Sedgwick County (Jan. 19 Eagle).
Glitches in the state’s voter registration web-based system resulted in registrations not being transmitted to local election offices.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach is charged with the oversight of elections, yet he chose not to inform voter registration applicants that, due to a known glitch, their application was incomplete and they would not be able to vote.
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Meanwhile, Kobach has introduced two bills, Senate Bill 37 and House Bill 2075, that would give him the authority to hold “bifurcated” elections. Thousands of people who register to vote using the federal process, which does not require showing proof of citizenship, could only vote in federal elections, not state or local elections.
Kobach would have thousands of voters unable to vote in state and local elections – the very elections that directly impact our lives.
Kobach has used his office for intentional voter suppression, and his political action committee targets for defeat those who cross him. This man should never be elected to any office.
Evelyn Clark, Haysville
As I see it, the highest priorities for the Legislature are as follows:
▪ Develop a tax policy that is as fair and equitable as possible, starting with the rollback of the current exemption on business income.
▪ Reduce and ultimately eliminate the tax on food – the most regressive and unfair tax in existence.
▪ Expand Medicaid, and accept our collective responsibility to enable this large number of now uninsured, low-income citizens to have a better chance for a decent and more healthful life.
▪ Return the management of the Medicaid program to the relevant state agency. The profit motive is inappropriate for health care and other human services.
▪ Refuse to do any more shifting of funds intended for specific purposes and further drain our reserves, thus increasing our indebtedness that places a chain around the necks of our children and grandchildren.
▪ Do what is needed to ensure the best public education program possible by developing an adequate funding stream as a new formula is being considered.
▪ Stop targeting services to our vulnerable populations as the place to reduce funding. Stop denying the reality that additional revenue is needed in order to meet our obligations as responsible citizens who care for each other.
Bill Zuercher, Hesston
Call a convention
President Trump has promised to “drain the swamp.” However, it will be a struggle for him to do it alone. It is time for “we the people” in the states to rein in the abuses of the entrenched federal government.
At the close of the 1787 Constitutional Convention, George Mason raised a concern about how the people would amend the Constitution if Congress ever became oppressive. Other delegates shared the concern, and the second clause of Article V was unanimously added to the Constitution, giving two-thirds of the states the capability to submit applications to Congress to call for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution.
The United States has never used this tool given to us by the Constitution’s framers. However, one thing is clear: Congress will never limit itself of any power. These limitations could be anything from fiscal responsibilities to office term limits.
On Feb, 13, the House Federal and State Affairs Committee will have a hearing on HCR 5005, which calls for Kansas to submit an application to Congress for a Convention of States. The momentum is rapidly growing across this great country. Sign the petition at conventionofstates.com.
Chuck Akins, Wichita
Can’t seize property
How do our local law enforcement agencies justify seizing money and property from someone simply on the basis of speculation that these “may” have been related to criminal activity, even though the person has not been convicted of any crime? The Fifth Amendment states that no person shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
It seems to me that Kansas’ various law enforcement agencies violate this amendment routinely as a way of covering expenses that ought to be allocated from state or local funds. What are we, a banana republic?
Tina Bennett-Kastor, Wichita
Lay off library
Talk about trivial argumentation (“No library savings,” Feb. 1 Letters to the Editor). Wichita Public Library check-out slips now indicate how many dollars a patron has saved by borrowing from the WPL instead of purchasing the book. A letter writer objected strenuously to this benign practice.
I reply that this is useful to many of us, and it is hard to think of such information as objectionable. If you don’t like it, ignore it.
Many citizens demand accountability from governments for the services they provide. WPL’s comparison statement is an example of accountability.
WPL, which does a great job with minimal funding from the city, is a model of excellence.
Dwight Oxley, Wichita
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