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Letter: Clocks Not Turned Back

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

"Reenacting A Dark History?" your March 8 editorial, claims that Virginia Republicans want to turn back the hands of time to a more racist and misogynist period in our history. First, the claim that requiring voter identification would suppress minority turn out is simply false. African-American turnout for the 2006 midterm election in Georgia was 42.9 percent. After the photo i.d. law was passed in Georgia, black turnout rose to 50.4 percent in their 2010 midterms. The African-American turnout also rose in Mississippi and Indiana after those states required similar photo i.d’s for voting. Also, to say that there is no evidence of voter fraud and there is no need to safeguard our elections is simply to ignore the facts. Why just a few days ago, the former West Virginia sheriff plead guilty to stuffing ballot boxes with illegal absentee ballots in an attempt to steal that state’s 2010 Democrat primary. This year alone, there have been indictments, prosecutions, and convictions of voter fraud in states ranging from Maryland, North Carolina, California, Texas, Wisconsin and more. Most people don’t find it that arduous to produce an i.d. to vote, particularly since they have to produce one to buy alcohol, open a checking account, or pick up concert tickets. In requiring voters to produce an i.d. to cast a valid ballot, Virginia

would be safeguarding the integrity of its elections and joining many other states that have already passed similar legislation. The next charge in the editorial relates to women’s rights. First of all, no

one is trying to take away a woman’s right to vote, as the editorial suggests. And second, regarding the legislation requiring a woman to obtain an ultrasound before getting an abortion, it might interest the readers to know that the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood itself often already requires the hotly debated transvaginal ultrasound before performing abortions. This invasive ultrasound is necessary to establish gestational age, particularly in early pregnancy, and often determines what type of abortion procedure is safe for a woman to have. In some case, a physical exam is necessary which is even more invasive. The dirty little secret is that these ultrasounds and other invasive measures are already being

performed by Planned Parenthood and other medical facilities, and are often necessary to ensure that a woman undergoes a safe abortion. So let’s not get start blowing things out of proportion. The clocks are indeed not being turned back. Any valid Virginian voter can still vote and safe abortions are still available in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Gina Ryan

Great Falls