The US Senate must stand with the House on rolling back barriers to voting

·4 min read

Voting rights

After failing to win the White House in 2020, more than 250 laws in 43 states have been proposed to restrict voting.

We just had an election that brought the highest number of people to the polls, in one of most secure elections in U.S. history. Given this, does anyone wonder why Republican statehouses across the country are proposing legislation to make it harder for people to vote? Perhaps because the election brought more black and brown people to the polls?

The “need” for all of these restrictive laws is cloaked in the argument of fighting fraud at the ballot box. This argument has been debunked repeatedly, even by investigations carried out under the last administration.

The Senate needs to stand with the House in rolling back barriers to voting. Expanding access to the polls is what we do in a democracy. A democracy only functions when all of the voices are heard.

Cheryl Mitchell-Olds, Durham

Relief bill

What is wrong with Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate? They all voted against the relief bill that would help their constituents. Who are they representing?

According to a Quinnipiac poll, over 75% of citizens support the bill and 60% of Republicans support it. These Congressmen and woman are not only hurting Democrat and independent voters, they’re hurting the Republicans who voted for them.

We are all in the same boat and these Republican leaders are oblivious to the reality of the desperation of all Americans. They are totally irresponsible and don’t deserve to hold office.

Tom Oriel, Garner

Sen. Thom Tillis

Sen. Thom Tills voted against President Biden’s stimulus plan, even though it provided significant money for N.C. schools.

He voted against money for North Carolina and N.C. cities. He voted against N.C. small businesses. He voted against stimulus funding, unemployment benefits, renters and landlords, COVID vaccine development, and a child tax credit.

He’s our N.C. senator, but voted against everything that would help N.C. citizens. Is that how a senator is supposed to help his state?

Nick Gervase, Holly Springs

Juvenile law

I read “State sends 6-year-olds to court; advocates now push to increase age,” (March 7) with incredulous disbelief.

In 1979, the state legislature set the minimum age at 6 years old for juvenile proceedings in North Carolina. What were they thinking? Think of the children this has affected, not to mention the ridiculous time and cost of lawyers and court.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s Task Force on Racial Equity in Criminal Justice recommends the age be raised to 12. Let’s hope for our children’s’ sake, this will become a reality.

Diane Hook, Cary

Raleigh transit

I would like to provide answers to the questions in “Raleigh buses,” (March 3 Forum):

Currently, GoRaleigh’s standard size buses (40 feet) allow up to 16 passengers to comply with social distancing practices. GoRaleigh is still running on a normal schedule to ensure those in need of public transit have access.

When restrictions are lifted, we hope to see buses again operating with up to 40 passengers. GoRaleigh does have smaller buses that operate on less traveled routes. Ridership is monitored and recorded. GoRaleigh continues to acquire more cost-saving fleet that run on compressed natural gas and electricity versus acquiring fleet that requires diesel fuel.

As with all public transit systems, ridership has declined due to the pandemic. Our board and the GoRaleigh team hope to return to pre-Covid-19 ridership numbers as it becomes safe.

Karen Rindge

Member, Raleigh Transit Authority

Oshrain’s words

I wish to thank Dr. Mindy Oshrain for her kind words from her March 8 op-ed piece. I’ve been fortunate not to have acquired COVID, nor have I lost any close family or friends. It is still the season for loss for me and my wife, as we lost our dear sweet son Christopher to a drug overdose just three years ago. We continue to grieve his absence and at times struggle mightily to live our lives without him. So, I’m very grateful for Oshrain’s nurturing words about the love that we had and lost.

Ned Yellig, Raleigh