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Originally published: 2013-04-15 20:08:52
Last modified: 2013-04-15 20:08:51

Bill thwarts voter participation

I am writing to express my extreme dissatisfaction with Sen. Dan Soucek's sponsorship and support of Senate Bill 667.

It is unconscionable that he would support a bill that would depress turnout among college students or any other group of voters.  

He has to be fully aware that this bill will lower overall turnout among college students; will benefit him because it would leave a greater number of Republican voters in his district; will benefit a disproportionate number of other Republicans for similar reasons; and will coerce voters into choosing to register in a place in which they do not live or force their parents to pay higher taxes because of the loss of the dependent deduction.  

It is unfortunate that he would attempt to disenfranchise his constituents. This is also an issue that has been considered by the Supreme Court in Symm v. U.S. (1979), and it is unlikely that the bill will withstand constitutional scrutiny. 

Further, this bill is just one example of what appears to be a systematic effort on the part of many lawmakers to limit voter turnout (S666; S721).

Which party will benefit from reducing early voting? Which party will benefit from eliminating same day registration during the early voting period? Which party will benefit from requiring voter identification at the polls? The answers to these questions are pretty obvious. Simply put, these laws are designed for political purposes. Did it ever occur to Soucek to discuss these proposals with the students at the university he supposedly represents? Did it ever occur to him to consult with experts on voting behavior at the university he represents?

I believe in making public policies based on sound reasoning and based on what we know from years of academic research, rather than based on partisanship, hyperbole and unsubstantiated claims about problems (such as voter fraud) that are grossly exaggerated for political purposes.  

I urge Soucek to reconsider his positions and attempt to encourage participation, rather than discourage it.   

Adam Newmark