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Both parties prone to suppression

Thank you to classmates and friends, Herb Bowman and Gunnar Conrad, for their thoughtful replies to my guest column in The Durango Herald and The Denver Post.

I asserted (with examples) that the political party in power suppresses the opposition. In Georgia, Republicans pass election laws to favor their party. Likewise, Democrat legislatures like Colorado’s write election law to suppress those who are not a member of their party.

For example, the 2019 Colorado Legislature passed HB 19-1278. It increased the required signatures and costs to run as an independent candidate. Among other provisions, it increased the number of ballot drop boxes in places where Democrats are likely to vote and prohibited boxes in locations they believed Republicans might be more likely to use. The bill was described by Democrat Secretary of State as “needed technical modifications to ballot access.” Does that sound like familiar rhetoric?

I gave no opinion about which political party is better or worse than the other. Bowman and Conrad argue that the Republicans are the most evil. The GOP feels the same way about Democrats. My belief is that voter suppression to give election advantage to a political party is wrong in all its forms.

My schoolmates and others have strong opinions and allegiances, but I appreciate that none made a personal attack for expressing myself. These times require open, civil dialogue and we must ask for more of that. Let’s encourage local debate about ideas rather than political identity in the future?

Jack Turner