An American's Most Precious Right
Each election year, Ohio residents cast thousands of ballots that are not counted.
Despite efforts to simplify the state’s voting to avoid widespread discarding of ballots, it could happen again in November’s presidential race.
The Enquirer, during a weeks-long examination of the state’s electoral procedures, found that voting – America’s most precious right and the foundation for all others – is a fragile civic exercise for many Ohioans.I shake my head. Behind the counter is a girl, maybe 20 years old. Her name tag says Karol Lyn. She is petite and wearing glasses. I tell her I have a question for her.
"What would you say is your most precious right as an American citizen." She hesitates but just for moment.
"I would say freedom of speech."
So now I have another question? How is it that a 20-something-year-old cashier at a Bruegger's Bagels shop better understands the significance and primacy of the First Amendment, than the editors and staff writers at one of Ohio's largest newspapers? I mean, it's only the core right that protects the whole profession of journalism from government interference!
The idea that my right to free speech (or any of the others in the Bill of Rights) are contingent on my right to vote in any particular election is ludicrous. Those rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution and can't be "voted" away without changing the constitution. Yes, that can be done by vote but it sure takes a lot of them.
There is nothing "fragile" in the civic exercise of voting. In every election a tiny minority of voters spoil their own ballots by making mistakes and voting improperly. Concerns about voter fraud and stolen elections have led to new laws requiring voters to be able to prove they are who they say they are when the cast a ballot. As has been pointed out by others, you need an ID to fly on an airplane, to buy a beer, or a pack of cigarettes. Has our right to fly, drink, or smoke, really become "fragile?"