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FREYTAG: Voting rights are integral to democracy

FREYTAG: Voting rights are integral to democracy

Dave Freytag


While the voting issues in swing states are causing a stir nationally, it produces a small outcome locally. That's because here at home in our very expansive and sparsely populated state of South Dakota we don't have a problem with long voting lines as we are given plenty of time to cast our ballots.

Fraud hasn't been much of an issue here either, mainly because "it doesn't have to be". The upshot is; it's an issue in more populated areas where voting laws can be used as a manipulation of the vote. We all understand that producing identification to cast a vote is fair enough, just as equal access to the ballot box should be fair enough also. Well, voting access isn't afforded equally in these same states where draconian voting laws are being installed as a curtailment of Democracy.

What is going on in these states may seem of little consequence to South Dakotans but the ramifications extend to all who reside in these United States. If the manipulation of the vote is allowed to continue (through long lines at the polls) and even now become worse, then how will we keep our Democratic Republic in place? If keeping people from voting is the top priority instead of enticing them to vote, we have a "cart before the horse Democracy" and the poor horse will never perform efficiently.

The question of the day seems to be: Are we willing to sacrifice our American ideals for the security of the status quo that has been in place for as long as most of us can remember or do we start "practicing what we have preached" to those who believe in the American Dream but have not yet been able to prosper along with the rest of us?

I'm not talking about the hope of a "better life awaiting" but the reality of Democracy in actual action. We don't have to believe that this world is a zero sum game or even believe that our rewards will be meted out in Heaven as many in philosophical charge would have us achieve this reward through faith. What we can believe is this; Our independent neighbors who have just as much right to occupy the American Dream as we, will occupy it with us or it will go away.

Dave Freytag has been a candidate for public office and is a long-time Rapid City resident.

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