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OpinionLetters

Letter: Suffolk County's flawed plan for early voting

Reader letters to Newsday for Aug. 1, 2019

Voters at primary day voting at the Hampton

Voters at primary day voting at the Hampton Bays Middle School in Hampton Bays on June 25. Photo Credit: James Carbone

Kudos to the New York State Legislature for approving early voting as one of its first mandates in January [“Nassau, Suffolk to get aid for early voting,” News, June 11]. We’ve now climbed out of the dark age of one-day voting. This act will elevate us from being a rogue state with one of the lowest voter turnout records.

The law will let New Yorkers vote in person for up to 10 days before this fall’s election. It stipulates one polling site for every 50,000 registered voters in a county, and that counties “shall not be required to be greater than seven.” But the law does allow for adding more polling places, likely at county expense.

It’s quite distressing to see how the Suffolk County Board of Elections is continuing our archaic voting practices and restrictions. Unfortunately, the board has decided to have just one polling place for early voting in each of its 10 towns. As a result, the population differences in the towns (a high of 486,170 in Brookhaven to a low of 2,400 in Shelter Island) mean that voting opportunities will be distributed unevenly. In addition, the polls will be open until 8 p.m. on only two of the nine days for early voting. This is a disgrace!

Michele Boccia,

  Bay Shore

Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Bay Shore Babylon Women’s Huddle, a voter-engagement advocacy organization.

  

Motorcyclists should obey laws

On the Long Island Expressway and other roads, I often see motorcyclists moving at high speeds, weaving through traffic and using the broken white lines as their personal lanes. I see them squeezing between cars that are stopped or moving slowly, moving between cars at speeds greater than the flow of traffic, entering from ramps at high speeds and ripping past cars, one motorcycle on one side and a second on the other.

Contrary to what one reader wrote, I usually hear loud pipes only after a motorcycle has passed me [“Cars, motorcycles share the road,” Letters, July 29]. They can be startling, but not helpful in keeping anyone safe.

When motorcyclists drive one or two in a lane, keep up with traffic, use headlights, signal for turns and otherwise obey all traffic laws, there is no problem.

Safety should not be the sole responsibility of auto drivers. Maybe those lawn signs about the issue should say, “Save a life. Motorcyclists should learn and obey all traffic laws.”

Larry Adler,

  Centereach

  

Many home health aides are immigrants

It’s unfortunate that a dearth of home care workers threatens to upend life for many seniors like me who could need that support soon [“Wanted: Home care workers,” News, July 29]. I believe new restrictions on immigration are partly to blame.

If my ancestors who arrived in New York City in 1842 tried to enter the United States today, they might be denied because they were too poor and too unlettered, running from poverty and hopelessness in Ireland. But they were willing to do the jobs that others in America wouldn’t do. How is that any different today?

Many of the workers in nursing homes and home care are immigrants, starting that climb that most of our families did toward a successful life in a new land.

A measured and planned approach to immigration is long overdue. People like Stephen Miller — the senior White House adviser who was an architect of President Donald Trump’s travel ban on Muslims and who is now seeking to stop refugee admissions to the United States — have no place in developing sane immigration laws. That is the responsibility of the House and Senate. They should get at it.

Joan Nelson,

  Ridge

The news of 1965 echoes today

I found many things in the July 16, 1965, copy of Newsday — distributed free recently to participating subscribers — eerily similar.

The ongoing war in Vietnam, with its seemingly endless number of casualties, has striking parallels to wars we are enmeshed in today in the Middle East.

A story about officials in Nassau County awash in allegations of bribery and malfeasance over a land contract could have been pulled from today’s headlines.

People in Lawrence thought jets were too noisy then and still do.

Oyster Bay Republicans called a Democratic leader “obstructionist” as they sparred over a master plan that still doesn’t seem to exist.

A teenager’s letter to the editor was prophetic in bemoaning how the president could be chosen by a minority of voters thanks to the Electoral College. He noted that Congress gives “old timers” representation far out of proportion to their numbers.

Finally, an editorial about Republicans attempting to push through the “Dirksen amendment” to reject the “one man, one vote” Supreme Court ruling, and subvert checks and balances by neutering the courts is pertinent today.

I wouldn’t mind if prices in the ads were still timely, though. Newsday was a nickel!

Paul Pepe,

  Massapequa

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