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Letters to the President

By George Brown


On January 25, 2017, just 5 days after Trump’s inauguration, I began writing a letter a

day to the White House. I started a blog of my own called A Million Letters a Day and I

posted there and on Facebook. My hope was that others who read my sometimes

whimsical, sometimes serious letters would follow suit. In my optimism I imagined

1,000,000 letters arriving on Trumps doorstep daily.


Silly me. It never caught on. Then I started reading news of the Secret Service visiting

folks who were writing on Twitter and elsewhere about the president, so on April 27,

2017, in a surfeit of caution, and feeling alone in my effort, I gave up.


The letters seem as appropriate today as they were then. Here is one, on a favorite topic: voting.

___________________________________


January 27, 2017


Mr. President,


Today is the anniversary of my mother’s birth in 1912, the same year that the state

where I now live, New Mexico, joined the Union. Of course it wasn’t until 8 years

later that women were enfranchised. And Native Americans here had to wait until

1948 for that privilege.


Somehow this birth anniversary, and how much my mother cherished her right to

vote, got me thinking about my experiences with voting, an item much in the news

today. Some years ago I had the amazing experience of registering folks to vote on

Main Street in a small North Carolina town after a Fourth of July parade. I have never

felt more patriotic than on that day.


Since then registering voters has become a focus of my political life. Sitting at a

farmer’s market or outside a big box store, I get “thank you’s” from some and

excuses from others. The excuses range from “it doesn’t make a difference” to

“they’re all corrupt,” or just a plain “not interested.” You and I both know that voting

makes a huge difference. It’s very sad to me, and I hope to you, to watch people

disenfranchise themselves.


A lot has been said lately about fraud in voting. My observation is a simple one: the

voter rolls are not up-to-date. In this modern era of instant communication, it should

be simple when someone moves or dies to have their names removed from the rolls.

This deficiency should be addressed and fixed.


However, an excess of names on the voter rolls should not be conflated with

fraudulent voting. There is virtually no evidence for voter fraud; instead it has

become an excuse for legislators to make voting more difficult.


Though my mother always exercised her right to vote, as have I, and I’d imagine as

you have too, voting already seems too difficult for many. Please read this huge

number: More than 92 million people, 40% of all eligible voters, didn’t vote in 2016.

That is our national disgrace that could benefit from a President’s attention.


Sincerely yours,

George Brown


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