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Protect voting rights

Protect voting rights

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Letter to the editor icon2

Letter to the editor icon2

Protect voting rights

It has been said that freedom isn’t free. Many Americans made the ultimate sacrifice for democracy. John Lewis said, "Freedom is not a state; it is an act." What acts are you willing to do to protect your right to vote and have your vote counted? Are you willing to fight? Are you willing to do as John Lewis admonished to “get into good trouble?” If we don’t fight for voter rights now, what freedom be taken away next? If we do nothing, nothing will change.

Congress hasn’t done anything to protect our voting rights. It is not just our right to show up at the polls. It is our right to choose who counts our votes and to have our votes make a difference. Our vote is our voice. Do we want recounts that are done by unqualified people who ruin our ballots, destroy our voting machines, and perform never ending “fraudits”? This ruins the integrity of our elections more than just a few fraudulent votes.

Montana has thrown out same day registration and voting, changed the hours some polls are open, closed some polling places, tightened identification needed to vote, and made it more difficult for absentee voting. This affects rural Montanans, and the disabled and elderly. If we can’t get to the poll, we can’t vote. This doesn’t just affect national elections; it affects our ability to elect our local and state officials.

If you want to double check the new voting regulations, you can’t because the Secretary of State is still working on the updating her website to accommodate the 2021 legislative changes signed into law.

If we don’t protect our voting rights, we forfeit our democracy. What effects one voter affects all voters. We need to pressure Congress to act. We need to participate in non-violent marches; send letters, emails, and tweets; call our Senators (Daines and Tester) and our Representative Rosendale; and attend town hall meetings. Contact the President Biden as well as Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. We must make our voices heard.

Do your part NOW! Later will be too late!

Mary Wolstein, Butte


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