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Kennington Avenue

Friday, April 11th, 2014

VOTING RIGHTS AND WHY THERE WILL BE NO TURNING BACK

I have been following all of the discussion regarding voter I.D. that continues to take place across this country and the desire and intention of conservative and right wing Republicans to restrict voting because they believe that open and unlimited access to the polls increase the possibility of voter fraud. The truth of the matter is that we have not seen a preponderance of voter fraud. If you have never been a group as African-Americans have who have been subject to the threat of beatings or having your house burned and ultimately suffered death  to discourage you from voting then you will never fully understand the passion and the determination to say to those who are trying not simply to undercut the power of the Black vote but to take it away with every fiber within us we say never again. Every time I pull that lever I feel proud and conscious of each person who paid with their bodies and their lives a great price for me and so many others to walk into that polling place without fear of intimidation or threat or having to jump through some artificial hoop that may be a more sophisticated barrier to discourage my participation fully in the Democratic process. If the Republican’s are so concerned about voter fraud then make the process for getting those I.D.’s easy and provide the financial means for those who are facing hardship to secure those I.D’s.

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About the author

Ken Wheeler is a retired pastor. He most recently served at Cross Lutheran Church, an ELCA congregation in Milwaukee, where he is now the director of the Bread of Healing Empowerment Ministry. For 18 years he was as an assistant to the bishop of the Greater Milwaukee Synod of the ELCA.