Lakeville Journal: Early voting is an important issue

First appeared in the Lakeville Journal on 10/18/2018 here.

Letter to the Editor:

One of the first things anyone should expect from their legislator is a straightforward answer to a question.

At the candidates’ debate on Friday, Oct. 12, sponsored by the Lakeville Journal and the League of Women Voters, 64th House District incumbent Republican Brian Ohler failed to do just that. 

The question was, “Are you in favor of, or opposed to, expanding the right to vote in Connecticut by allowing early voting, by loosening the requirements for absentee voting?”

He never gave a definitive answer, when he had already taken a position. 

Mr. Ohler strongly opposed early voting and cast his vote in opposition with his fellow Republicans twice in 2017 and 2018. The voters deserve an explanation on why he did not mention his votes and explain his position. Maybe he thought no one would notice. The League of Women Voters was a co-sponsor of the debate and the issue of early voting is one of their key issues. As a League member, I noticed.

Mr. Ohler also failed to mention that he co-sponsored an amendment on the same bill aimed at voter suppression. It would have required voters to show a photo I.D. in order to vote. Currently, voters are allowed to present other forms of identification if they do not have a drivers’ license. For most of us, a photo ID is no big deal.  But that’s not true for everyone.  Three million Americans do not have one. A photo ID can be a barrier for the elderly, disabled and the less affluent in urban areas. It would require them to buy a certified ID at a cost of $40 in order to vote.

Across the country, Republicans are trying to enact voter suppression laws like the ones Mr. Ohler supports. And we know why. 

We need a leader who will give a straight answer — that’s why we need Maria Horn. 

Carole Dmytryshak


EditorMeghan FlanaganEditor