Friday, September 5, 2014

New Poem: "The Truly Disenfranchised"

I will be delving into the poetry of politics as I have been asked to be a volunteer writer for Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's re-election campaign.  My first effort toward this effort is six couplets of free verse entitled "The Truly Disenfranchised."  I have sent it on to the Kobach campaign for them to use (or not) and have published it here as well.

Secretary Kobach (pictured) was largely responsible for the recent passage of the Secure And Fair Elections (SAFE) Act in Kansas.  The Act makes proof of American citizenship a requirement for voting in Kansas.  I would think that would be a no-brainer, but the law is actually quite controversial, decried by those on the extreme left of the political spectrum as disenfranchising and even racist.

Interestingly, some 19,000 possible Kansas voters have failed to comply with the simple requirements of the Act and will be unable to vote in Kansas until they do.  Compliance is easy--just bring a valid ID when you vote in person, or mail in a copy of it when you vote absentee.  If you don't have a valid ID, Kansas will provide one for free.  The elderly are even allowed to use expired documents. 

Voters already registered do NOT have to re-register.  New voters must supply proof of American citizenship when registering for the first time.  Eight easy-to-obtain forms of ID satisfy this requirement.  The vast, vast majority of citizens already have one or more of these forms of ID, but for the rare citizens who do not, Kansas will help them obtain ID for free.

For more information about Kris Kobach, see:  http://www.kansansforkobach.com.
For more information about the SAFE Act, see:  http://www.gotvoterid.com.
For an absolutely wacky take on this issue by the far left, see:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/kris-kobach-if-people-have-trouble-registering-vote-its-their-own-fault.

The Truly Disenfranchised
Steven Wittenberg Gordon

My father valued his American citizenship.
Proud to show the proof of it to anyone,

He would answer in accented English,
“Here are my papers, my prized possession.”

He carried them next to his heart,
For America was where his heart resided.

He cast many ballots in his lifetime.
His duty.  His right.  A right he earned.

When an illegal immigrant votes,
It insults my father’s memory.

When an illegal immigrant votes,
I am disenfranchised.

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