History is littered with the stories of those with power blocking those without it. The motive is simple: To keep power one must make sure others don’t get it. In a democracy, the form of government based on the participation of influence of the people, the struggle to keep or gain power exists in different forms. In the United States the battle is usually colored green as stacks of money buy the outcomes preferred by the privileged.
One of the present glaring instances of power grab is found in attempts to limit the voting of citizens. To be specific, the effort limits access to those who might vote against me.
To make sure that all citizens have access to voting a citizen initiative petition has sought to extend the voting days and times. Once the super majority of the Missouri legislature heard of such a petition – a people’s effort with a direct vote – it decided to oppose it with a particular bill, HJR 90. This bill proposes a constitutional amendment for the Nov 2014 ballot that establishes an early voting period beginning in 2016. It is deceptive, a wolf in the sheep’s clothing, pretending to be magnanimous. Do not believe it. It is a crafty effort.
It limits the period to nine days, much less than the citizen petition. It eliminates Sundays, the preferred day of many of those citizens who work during the week. It nullifies the citizen initiative – blocking direct action by citizens. It does not address the location of sites, which is crucial to access to all people.
This counter bill to the citizen initiative is a sham. It attempts to limit the scope of the ballot initiative in ways that keep certain citizens away from the polls … again. It is an attempt to block – and codify constitutionally – direct action of citizens.
Oppose HJR 90 by calling your senator and asking him/her to oppose the bill and support the citizen initiative for Early Voting.
This is what power does. In this instance it is conspicuous. And citizens can oppose and defeat this pretend effort that takes away as much as it gives.