When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for people to stand up for their rights as citizens and to assure that this nation of the people, for the people and by the people shall not perish from this earth, a decent respect for those we have elected requires we declare the reasons that impel us to demand Voter Independence.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all United States citizens are created equal, that they are endowed by the Constitution with certain inalienable rights including the freedom to vote for whomever they wish and the right for every vote to be of equal importance.
That whenever political leaders establish policies and practices either by law or regulation, that limit any citizen’s ability to vote, it is the right of the people both to elect new representatives and, when necessary, to create or modify laws through citizen voter initiatives.
Prudence will indicate that long-trusted office holders should not be replaced for slight and transient reasons. But when our Constitutional rights have long been violated, it becomes our patriotic duty to vote such politicians out of office and to elect new leaders who will more responsively and responsibly serve our needs.
We present the following proof of the blatant assault on our Voter Rights:
· Citizen Voter Initiative Restrictions: State legislators have proposed and supported bills to virtually eliminate the public’s constitutional right to enact laws by voter initiatives. (Thankfully, our Idaho Governor vetoed the bill.)
· Extreme Partisan Gerrymandering: The legislatures in half a dozen states have redrawn legislative district maps so that the party in power wins far more legislative seats than the popular vote would predict. By “packing” most of an opponent’s voters into a few districts, gerrymandering undermines the fairness of voting and results in more extreme candidates on both sides. (Idaho’s redistricting process is currently better than most, though many legislators wish to change that. Vote them out.)
· Voter Suppression: While the spirit of democracy is to encourage all adult citizens to vote, many state legislatures have tried to suppress voting by a variety of tactics including:
o Refusing to implement motor/voter registration allowing any adult citizen with a driver license to vote as provided by the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
o Refusing to mail ballots to all registered voters in order to make voting easier. (Oregon and Washington now mail out ballots.)
o Aggressively purging from the voter rolls citizens who did not vote in recent elections.
o Allowing political parties using a tactic known as “caging” to selectively challenge the Voter Rights of people who have changed their mailing address since their registration.
o Collapsing the number of polling places to make it difficult for lower income people to vote.
o Closing the time window for registration weeks in advance of the election.
o Refusing to allow for early voting and voting by absentee ballot.
(Idaho legislators have thus far succeeded in implementing only the first few of these tactics.)
For these threats to our Voter Rights our primary remedy is through the ballot box. Therefore, we, the citizens of Idaho, do solemnly declare that each of us shall hold our elected officials accountable for their actions in support of our Voter Rights, in support of a reasonable citizen ballot initiative process and in denouncing gerrymandering and tactics of voter suppression.
In support of this declaration we pledge to each other, our honor, our dignity, and our political action.
Donald W. Kemper, July 4, 2019