Wednesday, September 27, 2006

I've been published.

This nonsensical letter to the editor in our local paper prompted me to write a letter to the editor of my own.

Voting a privilege, not a right
On Friday, I read once again that U.S. District Judge Harold L. Murphy has ruled against Georgia's new law requiring a photo ID before voting ("Photo ID gets blocked a 3rd time", Metro, Sept. 15). Murphy states that the right to vote is "sacred" and shouldn't be "taken away lightly." The logic of his argument fails so miserably that I feel foolish for even having to point it out.
Voting is not a "right;" it is a privilege. Second, the privilege of voting is "sacred" not because of the act itself, but because it is the mechanism whereby our most fundamental right —- the right to further our will as eligible voters —- is guaranteed. Common sense, then, should tell you that this privilege can be "taken away" just as much through voter fraud as through the placement of arbitrary obstacles. The new Georgia law requiring a photo ID and, at the same time, mandating all eligible voters access to free ID cards serves to prevent both types of abuse.
Anyone who argues with this simple logic must surely have another agenda other than "protecting" Georgia voters. Another agenda? Please, say it isn't so!
DEBBIE WAGNER, Sandy Springs

My response was chosen for the 8/24/6 edition of the paper. This was my third or fourth draft. The first ones were way too angry. The caption is the editor's, not mine.

Don't be fooled; voting is a right

Making illogical arguments while attacking the perceived illogical arguments of others seems to be the norm these days ("Voting a privilege, not a right," Letters, Sept. 17). A recent letter writer did just that.
Anyone who believes that voting is not a right should read the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, Section 1: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
The question is not whether voting is a privilege or a right. That fact has been established. The question is how can the right to vote be denied under the guise of safeguarding the integrity of the voting system. Unfortunately, state governments have been finding creative ways to do just that since this amendment was passed in 1870.

I still get incensed when I read the original letter writer's opinion. Who among us dares to think that voting is not a right?!!! People who think this way are dangerous because some of these people are in charge!

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