Letter to the Editor: ‘Voting is a privilege as well as a right’

Dear Editor,
In his column concerning absentee voting (August 19, 2020 “If you don’t know how to vote, you probably shouldn’t,”) Don Rush out Don’d himself.
Recap of Don’s column. Don moaned about the Secretary of State wanting two new laws that would allow for counting absentee ballots that were mailed on election day and a second law enabling the verification of a signature if unclear on the ballot.
Using his astute math skills Don pointed out these new laws only impact a miniscule number of voters at a cost of over half a million dollars.If you change the receipt date the same procrastinators who are late under the current law would be late under the proposed law. Requiring the local election officials to track down the voter inorder to verify the signature (0.049% of total) would be a very expensive operation. If the change in date doesn’t work, will Secretary Benson personally travel around the state to pick up the missing ballots
There was a time when people took pride in voting by travelling for miles afoot or by horse in the 1800’s and standing in the line for hours in the 1900’s. Absentee voting was added to the Michigan Constitution in 1864 to allow Union soldiers to vote.
In 1932 an amendment was passed allowing for absence from city, sickness, or disability. Allowance for secular activities for religious reasons was added later. Until recently voters had to request an absentee ballot and indicate the reason for the request.
Now the Governor and SOS want no hassle voting. You can register online with no in person verification and register on the day of the election with no time for verification. Having voters request an absentee ballot helps to ensure the proper person is receiving the ballot. Now, millions of ballots are mailed including to some who have died or moved.
Voting is a privilege as well as a right. If a person cannot exert some effort and put some thought into voting, I agree with Don – “If you don’t know how to vote, you probably shouldn’t.”

Tom Breneiser

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