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Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
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Low number of ballot drop-offs suppresses vote

As the 2020 Presidential Election approached, I was eager to receive my early ballot and to mail it back as I have done every election cycle.

However, as the date approached, I began to hear reports of potential voter suppression. Being a skeptic, I dismissed the claims as I cautiously awaited my ballot.

In order to avoid potential delays with the mail service, I decided to take my ballot to a drop box location, looking ahead of time for a drop box.

Numerous online sites directed me to the courthouse at 222 E. Javelina Dr., Mesa, AZ. I received my ballot just one day after it was mailed, making me wonder why so much time was needed for the return trip. Still, I decided to stick with my plan and take my ballot to the drop box location at the courthouse.

When I arrived, I saw a sea of fencing, blocking off the mostly empty parking lots. There was no signage or instructions on where to drop off my ballot within the large complex. We drove in circles for about 20 minutes, following other cars that also seemed to be lost.

I finally found a small opening in the fencing that allowed me to enter. When I approached, large green ballot in hand, I was met by two masked employees who stopped me at the door. Upon seeing my ballot, they handed me a small slip of paper that contained a website address.

“They came and took out our ballot boxes,” said the guard at the door. “We’ve been complaining for days to update the websites, but no one did anything. No, we have a ton of people coming and we were just told to give them a slip of paper.”

When I returned home, I entered the website address. It asked me for my home address. This is an old address and I’ve never had any issues entering it on any other site, which I frequently use. This time, I was informed by the site that “no address was found.”

It suggested I just enter the street number and street name only, with no other information. Once I did this, it asked me to select pictures that contained a mountain for security. Once I passed that test (Many pictures had small hills in the background. Was that considered a mountain?) it finally gave me my closest drop box location.

The closest location was in Chandler; I live in Gilbert. There were only 17 total drop box locations in the valley, most of them at a considerable distance. Some were in downtown Phoenix, others in Youngtown and Carefree, which would require a half-day’s drive, round-trip.

Those who do not have access to reliable transportation, who are elderly, ill or working multiple jobs to keep food on the table may not have the time to research polling locations, being sent to the wrong posted location, being turned away, sent to a website that is difficult to use, and to finally be sent to a drop box at a considerable distance.

I can only imagine that those who are not comfortable with using difficult-to-use websites may give up and simply mail their ballot. We’ve already been warned that there may be issues with delays using this method.

This comes at a time where there are far fewer polling locations than in years past. I can only imagine the lines that will be associated with these fewer locations. Will those with advanced age or health conditions be able to withstand waiting in these long lines amidst a pandemic?

This seems to be a deliberate attempt to suppress our votes. The drop box location could have been updated on the website after employees expressed concerns. The drop boxes should never have been removed to begin with. There could have been signage instructing voters where to go. The website could not have demanded an address, blocking out many with an error message, only to provide 17 Valley drop box locations.

People could have decided on their own the closest location without having to provide their address, with heavy security features.

However, I suspect none of this was an accident; it was a blatant attempt to suppress your vote and mine.

-Jennifer Kady Stanton

Only Republican Senate can protect immigration laws

Arizona has some of the toughest immigration laws in the nation — and for good reason. Our state’s southern border has been a major entry point for illegal immigrants for decades and our residents have paid a hefty price in law enforcement, lost job opportunities, even environmental degradation.

But illegal entry isn’t the only problem. Excessive legal immigration likewise has dire economic consequences. And it’s not just low-skilled legal immigrants that are the issue. High-skilled legal immigrants and high-skilled guest workers also reduce wages and decrease employment options for native-born Americans.

That’s why it’s critical to keep the U.S. Senate in Republican hands, regardless of the outcome of the presidential race.

In lockstep with a Democratic House, a Democratic president and Senate would throw open the doors to unchecked immigration, wreaking massive economic and social harm.

Like President Trump, Republican senators favor tough, fair policies that protect national sovereignty and ensure the nation benefit, rather than suffers, from immigration. But Democrats have taken a radically different tack.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris want to dramatically expand the number of green cards issued to foreigners and enlarge guestworker programs.

Sen. Martha McSally is a staunch supporter of tough immigration strictures. Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly, by contrast, supports the Biden/Harris platform. The choice for Arizona residents is thus clear: a vote for McSally is a vote for maintaining sane, responsible immigration policies.

Advocates of liberal immigration policies often tout the supposed economic benefit of high-skilled immigrants. The research, however, indicates otherwise.

High-skilled immigration has the same effect in the more remunerative professions as low-skilled immigration does in the general labor market: reduced incomes for workers.

A study by the Economic Policy Institute confirmed that the H-1B program – which was designed to help employers fill “specialty occupations” – helps employers reduce wages across a broad swath of the American economy. Mega-corporations frequently use the H-1B program to replace native-born technology professionals with cheaper foreign labor.

Proponents of high-skilled immigration programs maintain foreign workers are needed due to a paucity of American citizens proficient in science, technology, engineering, and math. But a recent investigation of the H-1B program by Matthew Sussis, an immigration policy research analyst, concluded that the “shortage” of American STEM workers is a myth.

American STEM graduates also typically test higher on a given range of skills than immigrants who have been educated abroad.

Sussis also cited a galling and cruel irony embedded in the program: American workers are often required to train the H-1B guest workers replacing them – and threatened with the loss of their severance packages if they refuse.

The best deterrent to the irrational expansion of high-skilled immigration is GOP control of the U.S. Senate. Martha McSally is an essential warrior in this fight. She deserves our votes in November.

-Mary Ann Mendoza

Current scene makes him miss the old ‘Three Stooges’

Over 60 years ago during my youth, my favorite entertainment was watching “The Three Stooges.” They bumbled, lied, connived and otherwise twisted basic truths to fit their own agenda.

Little did I realize that the shenanigans of Curly, Larry and Moe would be recreated in real life by members of this administration and party line personnel.

Yes, Meadows, McConnell and McEnany may not bring us much comic relief as the original “stooges” did, but their behavior and antics are more myopic, ridiculous, shallow and damaging.

Curly, Larry and Moe entertained us and made us laugh while Mark, Mitch and Kayleigh simply annoy us and cause us to grimace.

-Richard Meszar

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