My Turn, Renee C. Scheidt: Voting laws are for public’s benefit

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 5, 2021

By Renee C. Scheidt

The right to vote is the fundamental element to a government “of the people, for the people, by the people.”

Take it away and no longer are citizens in charge. Instead, it’s powerful elites, who think they know better than the common folks that actually work for a living. They get to choose those who make the laws under which we must live by the voting process is a sacred right of Americans.

For this very reason, everyone who participates in the voting process should want to know their vote counts. That’s why we study the issues, find out what each candidate purports to do, go to the polls to stand in line and fill out the ballots. And that’s why we must be certain nothing is done to nullify our vote. We want no fraud in the election process. Our votes must be safe and secure.

You may find this hard to believe, but there are actually people out there somewhere who try to erase your vote by rigging the system. They will lie and cheat to get their candidate elected. This isn’t something new. It’s been happening for years. When others cheat, by whatever means they can devise, your vote is suppressed. It doesn’t count. All your efforts to be a good citizen doing your duty to be part of the electoral process was just negated. It’s as if they came, pulled you out of the voting line and said, “Don’t bother.”

If this actually happened, we’d all be up in arms. But it does happen when voter fraud is allowed to take place. If measures are not taken to ensure the truthfulness of the vote, a crooked system would take center stage. Laws are made for dishonest people. If we’d all just do the right thing, voter fraud wouldn’t be an issue. But we’re sinful creatures and need the law to keep us in line. For this reason, we need voter integrity laws.

This is why the N.C. legislature recently passed three bills to ensure the integrity of each vote (Senate Bill 326, Senate Bill 725, and House Bill 259). These bills will give greater certainty to every North Carolinian of an accurate election, keep the process free from fraud and safeguard the votes of all.

You’d think people would be praising our lawmakers for this. Yet, there are voices among us crying “foul.” Democracy North Carolina is just such a group. Their mantra is “tell lawmakers to vote NO on Jim Crow 2.0!” “Anti-voter, racist, Jim Crow era voter suppression, dismantle voter freedoms” are all words used by them to claim these laws are not fair. My simple reply is, “Why? What’s not fair about them?”

Don’t we all have to abide by the same rules, regardless of race or sex? These laws don’t make it easier or harder for any specific group. They are to be enforced equally across the board. No exceptions.

Yes, there were days earlier in our country when women (including my grandmothers) and certain minorities were not allowed this sacred privilege. But, thankfully, those inequities have been challenged and changed. The majority of Americans living today were never subjected to such unfairness. Hearing the same ol’ “Somebody Done Me Wrong” song gets old. Let’s stop looking back to the sins of our past which have been corrected and no longer apply. Let’s keep moving forward.

It’s past time to quit fussing about voter laws. These laws are for our benefit. Instead of whining, let’s thank our N.C. legislature that they care about every legal vote as they seek to make our elections an accurate, truthful account of the people’s voice.

If our votes can somehow be nullified, our republic is gone. Then the voting process is just a sham with predetermined outcomes, deceiving us into thinking we’re choosing our representatives when in reality the choice has already been made by greedy upper crust “superiors.” I don’t want to see that happen. Do you?

Renee C. Scheidt lives in Salisbury.