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Letters to the Editor: Republicans' voter suppression takes a dark, dangerous turn in Wisconsin

Voters wearing masks to avoid contracting the coronavirus line up in Milwaukee on Tuesday to cast their ballots in that state's primary election.  (Associated Press)

To the editor: President Trump dismissed Democratic-led efforts to allow more people to vote by mail amid the COVID-19 pandemic, even admitting that making it easier to vote would hurt the Republican Party. The U.S. Supreme Court sided with this approach, blocking a federal judge's order for Wisconsin to extend its mail-in ballot deadline and effectively forcing citizens in that state to vote in person during the worst health crisis of our lifetimes.

I was an election volunteer for the March 3 California primary. Even then, some people wore masks or gloves as they voted, exercising caution while exercising their rights.

Today, barely one month later, I'm not so sure I'd be willing to put myself in harm's way by coming into contact with hundreds of people in a single day.

The Republicans are not even trying to cover up the fact that suppressing the vote is part of their election strategy. Voter suppression is real and it is out in the open. It can happen here or anywhere else; just ask Wisconsin.

Sarah Farmer Earll, Monrovia

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To the editor: Is not representative government the goal of a democracy? How, then, can expanded access to voting be bad? If Democrats gain advantage through higher voter participation, so be it.

Even in normal times, I would have thought it insidious that Republicans would openly express such blatant contempt for democracy. Their efforts to squelch votes, now supported by the highest court in the land, are especially vile when putting lives at risk for those citizens who persevere in casting their ballots.

Trump is quoted as saying that this country would "never have a Republican elected in this country again" if turnout is higher. Again I say, if that's what Americans want, then so be it.

Jana Shaker, Riverside

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To the editor: Since 1968 I have been watching the Republican Party scheme, connive and lie. But what happened in Wisconsin is an absolute outrage.

What does it say about a party when lower voter participation benefits it? When during an unprecedented national emergency, in which the governor of the state has issued a stay-at-home order, the Republican-controlled Legislature refuses to extend the absentee voting deadline? When the U.S. Supreme Court, the ultimate arbiter of justice in our land, is complicit in this partisan hijacking of an election?

It is both a disgrace and a sign that our democratic system is broken.

Art Peck, Los Angeles