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OpinionLetters

Voting changes undermine American democracy

Credit: reallygoodstuff.com/Craig Sattler

Democratic legitimacy is determined not by the efficiency of government but by the fairness of the electoral process ["The fight to save voting rights," Editorial, March 21]. Any transformation of the electoral process consequently transforms the government itself.

In my view, mail-in voting revolutionized the electoral process, affecting the institutions of government forever, eroding the legitimacy of American democracy.

America underwent regime change in 2020, not in November but in the months leading into Election Day, not in Washington but in 50 state legislatures. The nationwide transformation of election laws reveals how the people have lost their own government, that their voices do not matter, that they now exist as subjects of a pseudo-democratic mail-in regime that they had no hand in creating. I anticipate some will argue that the ends justify the means, and if it took undermining the electoral process to overcome gridlock and unify government, then it was worth it.

Others will say that mail-in democracy is more free, with more votes and greater representation than ever before. I say the age of American democracy is over. Any transformation of voting procedures should have been made by the people themselves, not by their state legislatures. Americans are now subjects, estranged from a government once their own.

Raymond Janis,

Commack

I can’t believe that Republicans are trying to position the For the People Act of 2021 as partisan. The purpose is to make voting easier for all eligible Americans. It sets up automatic voter registration, ensures early voting, including Saturday and Sunday, and allows for "no excuse" mail-in voting. How can anyone object to this? Shouldn’t we all want more Americans to vote? Wouldn’t it be good for everyone if our elected officials represented the actual majority of Americans?

The fact that Republicans fear this bill is telling. I believe they know their policies do not represent the majority of Americans and are doing their best to suppress the vote in areas where they will be voted against.

Their argument that it’s unconstitutional, to me, doesn’t hold up upon close examination. While the Constitution allows that states shall "run" elections, it also says that Congress may alter the "times, places and manner" of elections.

The bill passed the House without any Republican support — with both Long Island congressional Republicans, Andrew Garbarino of Bayport and Lee Zeldin of Shirley, voting "no" to making it easier for all eligible Americans to vote. Think about that.

Rosanne Manfredi,

Bay Shore

Electoral college should stay as it is

The writer of "National Popular Vote bill should be enacted" [Letters, March 25] may not know why we have an Electoral College vote in the first place. It was established as part of our Constitution at the demand of smaller states at the time (New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, etc.).

These smaller states feared that the larger states would always control presidential elections and they would essentially have no voice. So they refused to ratify the Constitution. The framers developed the electoral system whereby a candidate could win smaller states, thus evening, to a degree, the weight of smaller states.

This is the same reason why we have a House of Representatives and a Senate. The larger states would have had more congressional representation than the smaller ones and always control Congress. Again, until the Senate had two votes per state, the smaller states refused ratification. The electoral system was put in place for good reason and, to me, is not old-fashioned or out of date. I say it needs to stay.

William McMahon,

Patchogue

Zeldin’s actions don’t deserve support

When Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) won election in 2014, as one of his constituents, I assumed that he’d be a "normal" Republican. However, this was disproved with Zeldin’s almost complete support of former President Donald Trump’s policies after 2016. I have always been in favor of better gun control measures. Thus, my dislike increased when he co-sponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act in 2017 and intensified in 2018 when my brother-in-law, an Ohio police officer, was killed by an ex-convict who should not have had access to a gun. In January, I was appalled by Zeldin’s actions against certifying the presidential electoral votes ["Certification vote has two sides to the story," Letters, March 18].

The votes had been protested in courts, which unanimously ruled the protests had no validity. The election boards in various locations certified their results, and no fraud was found that would affect the results. Thus, I believe Zeldin’s votes showed no respect for our constitutional processes and voting laws and disrespected those electoral boards, the courts, etc. To me, Zeldin should be ashamed of his actions.

Virginia C. Wilch,

East Setauket

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