Voters just gave away a ‘fundamental right’

On the Nov. 8 ballot an issue named “Amendment 6” appeared asking voters to change the Missouri Constitution for the purpose of enacting what has become known as “photo voter ID.” This issue came about with the passage by our State General Assembly of House Joint Resolution No. 53. Unfortunately voters decided to pass this amendment change.

What these same voters didn’t realize is that they also voted to deny themselves their fundamental right to vote. In the Missouri Constitution, it is stated clearly that voting is a “fundamental right” – a constitutional freedom (a basic freedom) that should never be taken away from its citizens. What will happen now because of that vote, Missourians will no longer have a “fundamental right” to vote. That basic and precious freedom will be stripped away from our Constitution and will be lost.

As I stated previously, voters decided to pass “Amendment 6” but they did so without full knowledge that they would be losing their fundamental right to vote. And the reason for this was simply because losing that right was never written clearly into the ballot language.

Many Missourians, including native Missourians, will never again be able to vote because of the costly and ambiguous process of having to identify themselves of their integrity as citizens of this state. Among these citizens are African-Americans, seniors, people with disabilities, the working poor, veterans, students with student IDs that will no longer be accepted and others.

On June 1, 2017, photo voter ID will take effect due to the passage of House Bill 1631, which will require voters to present a valid ID in order to vote.

Losing a precious freedom, like voting, is extremely troublesome for the very reason that if our state legislators can take that away from its citizens, what will be next in line on their agenda and the agenda of their lobbyists who hand out generous gifts and some of Missouri’s wealthiest who engineer these drastic actions?

Marvin Sands

Independence, Missouri

 

City needs to do something about Englewood blight

I recently drove through the Englewood shopping area at nighttime. The area was well lit with tall, attractive streetlights. But what did they illuminate? A ratty looking storefront (the old Ben Franklin) in close proximity to a vacant theater! These two atrocities have been staring at passers-by for years now. These eyesores detract from anything good that is happening in this area.

What is being done about this? Are not our city officials aware of this blight? Is there nothing that the citizens can do? Who is holding this western Independence real estate hostage to such unsightly, abandoned property? I hope a meaningful conversation can be started. I know other responsible citizens in the area have these concerns also. Please comment.

Darla Wolters

Independence