Efforts to restrict voting attack our core principles

Throughout its history, the United States has expanded access to the vote, opting on several occasions to include a class of citizens previously denied this right. It is unfortunate that a recent letter advocates reversing that trend. The writer suggests disenfranchising the entire citizenry of Washington, D.C., along with any voter who does not achieve an unspecified mastery in civics.

To me, this is an affront to our system of representative democracy, in which all who are subject to the nation’s laws have the right to participate in the selection of the individuals who make those laws. (Current exceptions include non-citizens, minors and the incarcerated; let’s not add to this list). That’s a chief reason why the recent Republican effort to limit voter participation is so offensive: It’s not just a dirty political ploy; it’s also an attack on the principle of government for, of, and by the people.

Chris Willett