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December 22, 2005

Ron Sims on the Suppression of Voting Rights

Sims, King County Executive, has a guest column in the Seattle Times today on the widespread and troubling efforts to weaken voting rights protection in this country, of which our King County Republican registration challenges of this past election cycle were one. Indeed, Sims reviews the questionable tactics of Lori Sotelo:

Under press questioning, Republicans reluctantly admitted they did not have any evidence that the people on their list were engaging in vote fraud. At best, they had discovered a group of citizens who, either out of a lack of knowledge of the technical requirements of elections law or because of unusual personal circumstances, had made an innocent error on their registration forms.

Sims then puts the King County challenges into context and calls on our state legislators to ensure that all voters retain their precious voting rights. 

What recent developments in King County tell us is that the dark legacy of poll taxes and "literacy tests" is not as much a thing of the past as we would like to believe. Unfortunately, there is still an immediate need to protect voters from those seeking new methods to disenfranchise them for partisan advantage.

We need election-law reform, but that must mean strengthening our current protections rather than weakening them, as Republicans are proposing. What we need is strong, loophole-free legislation in Olympia that will bar, once and for all, the sort of mass-challenge abuses we just experienced here in King County.

Trifling with voting rights for our citizens is no small thing.

Posted by Lynn Allen on December 22, 2005 at 02:31 PM in Miscellany | Permalink

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