By the time tis gets to print and almost at the final hour; and almost unnoticed; the right to have their vote count was restored to about 17,000 Kansans last week, at least as of this writing.
Hopefully, ongoing legal shenanigans that interfere with people’s right to vote won’t come down at the last moment, and we can be assured all ballots are counted accurately and can be audited.
An ongoing court battle over who-gets-to-vote in Kansas may not be as sexy as the Kardashians’ newest dress, or as spellbinding as people “Naked and Afraid” on a reality show, and that’s unfortunate.
Because voting is much more important.
There are way too many apathetic Americans for whom voting is a nuisance. Or they believe their vote doesn’t count. They’re disenfranchised, or they don’t like the choices.
Which makes it sad that recent state legislation, which requires proof of citizenship that is not required under federal registration requirements, has led to an ongoing battle over whether those Kansans who used the federal form should have their ballots counted.
We support the necessity of, and integrity of, the vote. Voting is central to America. Our military have fought and died to protect our rights.
Which is what makes it so appalling, that with a simple political sleight of hand, so many Kansas voters could be, and have been, “purged” from the voter rolls.
What’s also appalling is that in February of this year a judge denied a Wichita mathematician’s request. She wanted access to paper voting machine tapes from a 2014 election to examine for evidence of possible fraud or malfunctioning.
Why does she have to sue for what should be routine under the law?
Why deny her open records request? Isn’t this the same government that says, “If you’ve got nothing to hide, then hide nothing?”
Controlling the outcome of an election through manipulation isn’t new; it was an ongoing battle in the South after the Civil War, and again during the Civil Rights era. In some third world countries there are armed guards to protect those who want to cast a ballot. As recently as 2009, Afghanistan’s election was audited under international pressure, and a third of the votes discarded.
The right to vote, and protecting the integrity of the vote is the hallmark of America. One man. One vote.
It’s not only important we vote. It’s important we police our right to vote, and our right to audit elections thru a bona fide “paper” trail.