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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

March 8, 2011 at 4:02 PM

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Republicans push for restrictions on voting rights

Posted by Letters editor

Don’t kill the dreams of America’s youth

Editor, The Times:

Tighter controls on voter registration, seems to be directed at young people and people without proper identification — especially those that sign up at the last minute before an election. As a country that is based on a system of laws, we should require proper ID of voters, no matter who they are or how old. Procrastination and questionable identification should not be rewarded with a vote.

If this was just about voter integrity, it should be simple and just. But even “fools” can see this controversy really revolves around politicians on both sides manipulating the voter base.

Let’s support proper controls for voting and make all who vote follow them. But don’t kill the enthusiasm and young people’s dreams for a better America by classifying them as “foolish.” Even with a lifetime of experience, I’ve never gone to war, had a huge student loan to repay, tried to get a job in hard economic times or inherited a huge national debt by my predecessors. Whether they vote with their heart or their head, they are no more “foolish” than the adults who have created a complicated world for them to grow up in.

— Tish Gregory, Renton

A way to win next election

In the early 1970s, the voting age was lowered as part of the 26th Amendment to the Constitution. This was in response to the thousands of young men being drafted into service and fighting for their country in Vietnam — all without any say in who was leading them. At that time, people understood that if you were old enough to serve your country, you were old enough to decide who should send you off to a war that claimed the lives of 58,000 U.S. service members, many of them young men who hadn’t been able to vote.

The recent attacks on voting rights for young citizens are disheartening. The allegations of frauds are misguided and misinformed, and have no evidence behind them. The same leaders making these claims ignore the real cases on fraud that actually take place, instead focusing on hyped-up charges. They hide behind this lie as a cover for attacking our constitutional rights. This isn’t a way to improve America; this is a way for them to win the next election.

Whatever happened to politicians who care about real people and real issues, not how many votes they get?

— Ben Lennon, Seattle

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