Need to protect right to vote
Voter ID rebuttal to "Photo ID policy hinders many prospective voters" published July 21: "Of course, there's more to it. Kobach, Gov. Sam Brownback and others in their ultraconservative GOP crusade also would prefer a lower voter turnout from the poor, elderly and minorities — many of whom happen to be Democrats."
First let me say this is one of the most irresponsible and improvable statements I have ever read, and the person who wrote this bull should be ashamed. How about this: This is a nation of laws and rules and allowing noncitizens to vote in our elections is against the law. What would you think if I said the Democratic party doesn't want stricter voting laws because they want illegal aliens to be able to vote and they vote primarily for Democrat candidates and this will allow the liberals to push through a more one-world, open-borders policy which they dream of. You would say I was irresponsible. This should not be a party issue, it should be a constitutional and American issue. As I read through your editorial despite the glaring one-sidedness of it, I also found that your numbers and the way you worded were very misleading. "In Kansas, more than 260,000 eligible voters live more than 10 miles from the nearest state ID-issuing office, many of which have limited hours. And more than 7,000 of those Kansans lack a vehicle." It sounds as though 260,000 people will not get to vote at all. These numbers are people of legal voting age, not registered or likely to even vote. The people that will be affected have had months to prepare by getting an ID and, finally, I live in southwest Kansas where it is a long way to anywhere and I don't know anyone that wants to vote that will not be able to get an ID and get to the poll. I think when we look back on this year's election you will see only a handful of people who this new law affected. As I read the bill, even if you have no ID at the time of the election, you can still cast your vote and then provide the ID later. Finally, let me say this about laws. Laws come about because society has deemed certain acts to be immoral or illegal. Lawmakers pass laws defining the crime and punishment, and law enforcement carries out the will of the people. We do not refuse to pass laws and make certain acts illegal because only a few of these events occur on any given year. There are only a handful of murders every year in Kansas, but we still have a law prohibiting it. The Constitution, state and federal governments all have laws governing voting, and we should protect this precious right from abuse whenever we can.
'Safety net' aids Kansans
Gov. Sam Brownback has proclaimed Aug. 5 to 11 as Primary Care Safety Net Clinic Week. This recognizes the clinics in our state that literally provide a "safety net" for the most vulnerable Kansans — those who are uninsured and underinsured.
In 2011, these clinics provided comprehensive primary care to more than 235,000 people, regardless of their ability to pay. The clinics play a vital role in our communities by helping their patients stay healthy and out of emergency rooms. In Garden City, United Methodist Mexican-American Ministries performs this critical service. Today many of our friends and neighbors are unemployed and uninsured, yet still need critical health care services they can afford. This week, which is recognized annually, serves to emphasize the valuable services provided by the state's safety net clinics. Besides providing needed services, these clinics help boost local economies by providing jobs during the current difficult job market.
On behalf of its 41 safety net clinic members, the Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved wishes to thank the state and local legislators, private foundations and many individuals who recognize the important role safety net clinics play in the overall health care system in Kansas. As more people look to these clinics for their health care, we are grateful for the commitment of these leaders to the medically underserved.
Harding is executive director of KAMU.
GCCC recognition well deserved
I recently read the story "GCCC Gets Top Marks in Student Success Nationwide" written by Rachael Gray on Aug. 4. I am so proud of everything Garden City Community College has accomplished and so proud to be a part of this number. My time at GCCC was some of the greatest of my life and academic career. I had the opportunity to work as a resident assistant, serve as president to the forensics and debate teams, as well as serving as Student Government president from fall 2008 to spring 2009. I transferred from there to Kansas State University where I also served as president of the KSU forensics team this past season and graduated from the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism at KSU.
This article reminded me of where I came from and how proud I am be to a Buster. The school is full of passionate educators and faculty that are dedicated to the students. I am filled with pride to hear that my classmates have seen the same success. Student life at GCCC was like a family. I am not surprised to read how high our graduation rate ranks nationwide. This college gave us the start we needed to accomplish our dreams. I truly believe in the community college's slogan, "From here you can go anywhere."
I hope students nationwide that had a start at GCCC have read this article. Thank you so much for passing on these numbers released by CNNMoney. I want to congratulate the faculty, staff, students and everyone from the college. I also want to thank those educators that gave me the start I needed to get where I want to go. Awesome job Busters.
Forever a Buster,
JACOB R. HUGHES,
Hughes is a 2009 GCCC graduate and a 2012 KSU graduate.