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Letter: Time for change


Tuesday, December 04, 2018

I have interacted with Secretary of State Bill Gardner since the early 1980s (as a state rep, a candidate for governor and Congress, and as a political commentator). The Gardner of the last decade is very different from the early Gardner. Did Gardner change or did the political environment he is charged to oversee change? I believe it is the latter.

Today the very act of voting is perceived as a threat to the electoral success of one party. As a consequence, secretaries of state across the country are being tested about their allegiance to the American Dream, that our nation would ensure and protect the planet’s most representative democracy. Since the early 2000s, every legislative term has seen one side of the political aisle try to “legally” disenfranchise voters. Instead of standing up for the right to vote, Gardner has caved to lies, threats and the convenient mythology that has cleverly adopted the label “voter integrity.”

From Governing magazine: “Long before the Pence-Kobach commission was established, Gardner testified in favor of policies to place more hurdles in front of people wanting to vote. ‘I was astounded when the only person to speak for many of the bills meant to disenfranchise voters was our secretary of state,’ says (Rep. Jan) Schmidt, the Democratic state representative. ‘He was telling the committee in testimony that because of a perception of wrongdoing we needed to pass this restrictive bill.’ ”

You need to know nothing else. The time for change has come.

ARNIE ARNESEN

Concord