Letter to the Editor

Removing voter suppression

The integrity of our nation's democracy needs to be among the first priorities addressed in Congress next term. We've seen rampant corruption and a disregard for ethics, accountability, oversight, and rule of law that continue to plague our government.

During the 2020 election cycle, the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition saw Missouri voters hampered by limited excuse-based absentee voting options, lack of early voting opportunities, antiquated voter registration tracking and updating practices, polling place closures and consolidations, piecemeal implementation of laws, policies and practices that place needless barriers and logistical hurdles that make voting more difficult and deter participation, especially amongst our state's marginalized citizens. Our redistricting process has been opened up to partisanship that could serve to dilute Missourian's voices.

Across the nation, Americans experienced unprecedented voter suppression, historic levels of dark money used to drown out the voices of everyday Americans, as well as ethical abuses by special interests.

In order to ensure that the voices of ALL Missouri citizens are heard, I urge U.S. Senators Blunt and Hawley and U.S. Rep. Jason Smith to ensure that the For the People Act is a first priority when the new Congress is convened. The Act is a once-in-a-generation democracy reform package to clean up our political system, get big money out of politics, hold elected officials accountable for corruption, expand and protect voting rights, and create a democracy that is representative of all Americans' voices and values.

MARY WAGGENER, Cape Girardeau