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I watched one of the Republican debates last week. Really I did because I no longer can stay up late enough to watch Saturday Night Live. And why should I stay up that late when the parodies on SNL cannot live up to the real thing. If Daffy Duck were running he would be able to hold his own against some members of the current gaggle of candidates.  In their defense I admit there are so many debates on the calendar it is a wonder someone hasn’t turned into a political version of Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

Still, even if Bozo the Clown was running he would already be off to a good start to winning in 2012.  What? How can that be when we haven’t even had the first caucus or primary?

According to extensive reporting in both U.S. News and World Report and the Chicago Tribune, not exactly bastions of liberal thinking, the groundwork is already being laid in key states to restrict voting and voter registration. And it is all being done in the name of fighting voter fraud and fake voter impersonation.

The fact of the matter is that is a charade – a pea and shell game, if you will. George W. Bush’s Justice Department spent years and, by all accounts, fairly investigating voter fraud and did not manage to prosecute one voter for impersonating another. And, according to another study, of the 300 million votes cast between 2002 and 2007, federal prosecutors convicted a grand total of 86 people for fraud. That number might affect the outcome of an election in Lakeville.

Two states where Republican majorities and governors are going to great lengths to restrict registration and early voting are Ohio and Florida. Wow, what a coincidence, Ohio and Florida. Gee, why do those two states seem to ring a bell?

In Florida early voting has been cut from two weeks to one week and voting on the Sunday before Election Day eliminated. And anyone who registers a new voter and makes a procedural error faces prosecution. So many roadblocks have been put in place that the non-partisan League of Women Voters has suspended registration drives.

Republican state senator Michael Bennett even went as far to say that voting should be neither easy nor convenient. Sorry, pal, that is wrong.

Take Indiana, for example, where no one in authority has had the courage to change our archaic voting hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Those hours actually may have been the difference in Obama winning the state in 2008. Suburban voters, who lean republican in the state, have more difficulty voting within that time frame.

There is a considerable amount of money being poured into key states by outsiders who only want their personal agendas in place.

In this divisive age can’t we all agree that every American citizen should have an easy path to vote? 

Probably not.

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