GOP, quit blocking a bill to ensure fair and safe elections in November

Senate Republicans are stonewalling a bill to give states funding for vote-by-mail, early voting and other measures to ensure safe voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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An “I Voted” button worn by a voter in a recent 2020 primary.

An “I Voted” button worn by a voter in a recent 2020 primary.

Chandan N. Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

We’re five months out from the election, and Republicans in the U.S. Senate are still refusing to pass legislation to give states the resources they need to protect our elections during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In May, the U.S. House voted to provide $3.6 billion in election funds to states, but Senate Republicans have refused to bring up that bill for a vote. That money would help states expand options for vote-by-mail and early voting, to maintain safe in-person polling locations and ensure people know about any changes to voting practices.

All Americans — Republicans and Democrats alike — should be able to vote safely and securely in this November’s election.

SEND LETTERS TO: Please include your neighborhood or hometown and a phone number for verification purposes.

As we celebrate July 4 and our country’s freedoms, it’s important we ensure the promise of our democracy: one person, one vote.

Americans shouldn’t have to choose between their health and their vote. It’s time for Senate Republicans to stop stonewalling and provide the money necessary to ensure free, fair and safe elections this November. There’s no time to wait.

Gabriella L. Brown, Bucktown

Let’s “defang” the police

I have been distressed for years seeing the police routinely kill 1,000 people per year and face no consequences. As I dug into the issue, I learned that prosecutors don’t want to upset the very officers who bring them cases, the police unions have negotiated strong protections for officers, and the Supreme Court created “qualified immunity,” which basically protects the officers from lawsuits over shootings.

In short, the police were given a license to kill.

The call to defund the police sounds too aggressive, but there is a real need to bring accountability to officers who kill, without just cause. No other country allows such malfeasance, yet we have put up with this for years. Several countries provide no guns for their officers. Others arm only an elite special force.

I have always thought that an officer with a gun is “overkill” if they are directing traffic. We have witnessed officers flaunting violence against peaceful protesters. We definitely need to rein in the violence, whether that entails removing guns or repealing qualified immunity, so officers know they would face serious consequences for their unjustified actions.

Maybe “defang the police” is a better slogan.

Lee Knohl, Evanston 

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