News and Tribune

April 10, 2012

News and Tribune letters: April 10, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Separating voting myths from facts

Tuesday, May 8, is an important day for everyone who appreciates their freedoms. It is a day that your voice is heard and heard loudly. It is primary election day.

The polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and it is your opportunity, if you are registered, to help select those candidates that will represent the major political parties in November’s general election. This year includes our presidential candidates.

The South Central Indiana League of Women Voters’ mission is to encourage and inform potential voters on issues, election processes and to increase voter participation. Less than 20 percent of registered voters cast their vote in the last primary. Your voice and your vote are important. John Quincy Adams believed, “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, you will cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”

Here are some reasons we’ve heard for not voting:

Myth: I live in the city so I can’t vote in the county primary election this May.

Fact: If you live in the city you are still a resident of the county and can vote this May.

Myth: Convicted felons can’t vote.

Fact: A felon can and should vote in any election. The only time you can’t vote is if you are in custody on Election Day.

Myth: If I don’t register to vote I won’t be called for jury duty.

Fact: The jury pool is developed from several lists including property tax rolls, BMV records as well as telephone records. Not registering to vote does not ensure that you will not be called for jury duty but by not registering and not voting it will ensure that your voice will be silenced.

Myth: I am not old enough to vote.

Fact: If you are 18 on or before the general election date in November you can and should vote in the May primary.

Myth: Local politics are not important to me. I only vote for the president every four years.

Fact: Your local elected representatives affect you as much or more than the national representatives. It is vitally important to vote for both. Local government officials provide services (fire, police, courts, property taxes, road conditions, school decisions, etc.) directly to you. Shouldn’t you exercise your right to select who will represent you?

Voting is fundamental in our democracy. It has yielded enormous returns. On April 23, the South Central Indiana League of Women Voters will host a meet and greet for the candidates who are requesting your vote.

All interested citizens from Clark and Floyd counties are invited to join us for an informal nonpartisan evening beginning at 7 p.m. at Preservation Station, 100 Preservation Station, Jeffersonville. If you have questions about the registration or voting process, contact your county clerk, Linda Moeller, Floyd County, or Barbara Haas, Clark County. You may also contact me, Teresa Perkins, president of the South Central League of Women Voters at 502-594-2301.

— Teresa Bottorff Perkins, Jeffersonville

Reader urges a vote for Winningham in 9th

Of course Rep. Todd Young would support the Ryan budget he co-authored. Since taking office in 2010, Young has been a rubber stamp for the Republican Tea Party, opposing every initiative of the Obama Administration “just because.”

While the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) preserves traditional Medicare, saves eight years of stability in the Trust Fund (Medical News Today 5/16/11), and is endorsed by the AARP, the Ryan/Young plan would replace Medicare with a “voucher” system that would not be enough to cover seniors’ health care costs — even if they could find private coverage at all. Their plan, unlike Obamacare, shifts the entire cost burden onto the Medicare beneficiaries but does nothing to hold down the unsustainable, rising costs in the delivery of health care.

The Ryan/Young budget as a whole would effectively decimate other programs for poor and middle-class Americans, while continuing the Bush tax cuts for corporations and the super rich. Are you aware of Todd Young’s voting record, which has been rigidly oppositional? His votes have been anti-worker, anti-women, anti-seniors and anti-environmental protections.

For example, he opposed water quality standards; voted against the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program; voted against union representation and elections; and opposed public disclosure of golden parachutes and bonuses. He said “no” to federal funds for poor women’s health care, but he voted for taxpayer funding for NASCAR sponsorships. Really! Go to Vote and type in his name to see his entire voting record.

Indiana’s 9th District has been poorly represented by Young and cannot afford to re-elect him. We need someone who knows our district and its needs. Robert Winningham has worked alongside former Congressman Lee Hamilton in the 9th District. He helped get things done here, like Charlestown State Park and River Ridge (old ammo plant), among many other projects. He is an experienced economic development professional and has created more than 5,000 jobs by working with people from all parties and backgrounds to reach a common goal. It’s what Robert does and it’s a skill that’s needed to make government work.

Robert values and supports public education and workforce training, a clean environment, the right of workers to unionize without harassment, women’s rights and every citizen’s right to affordable health care. After all, when you’re sick you can’t work, and that’s a huge cost in human and financial resources.

Remember Robert Winningham for Congress when you vote in the primary May 8.

— Ruthanne Wolfe, New Albany