To the Editor:
My name is Adolf Meier. Everyone calls me “Red.” I am an 86-year-old, life-long registered Republican, and I have the misfortune of living in the Town of Taghkanic, Columbia County, N.Y. I am legally blind, and my daughter is helping me write this letter on her computer.
When I was 18, World War II was under way, and I volunteered to defend America’s freedoms by joining the United States Marine Corps. You’ve probably heard of the Battle of Iwo Jima? I was in the first Marine landing that day (February 19, 1945), and if you know anything about Iwo Jima you know that I am one of the lucky ones to make it out alive. As a result of that experience, however, after being honorably discharged at the end of the war, I slowly began to lose my eyesight. I am now legally blind—a designation that can only be determined by my doctor and the federal government. So, I now vote by absentee ballot.
During the opening of absentee ballots for the November 3 election for the Town of Taghkanic, my ballot was at first challenged by the Republicans on the grounds that I hadn’t provided “proof” of my blindness. Eventually, the Republican attorneys “allowed” my ballot to be opened and counted. It’s bad enough that there was even discussion about my right to vote absentee, but then a Republican attorney found it necessary to make a derogatory comment about my given name of Adolf. I hope you are as disgusted about all of this as I am.
I am revolted by the current strong-arm tactics of the Republican Party, who are trying to take away the constitutional right of people in the Town of Taghkanic to vote where we choose as long as we have an established residence here in Taghkanic. I’d like to know who is paying for all the lawyers and “private investigators” hired to violate voters’ privacy and rights. If this lawsuit is based on such a principle fact of election law, then why are these Republicans targeting only certain Taghkanic voters?
I am a proud Marine who defended this country against fascism during World War II. I never expected to live out my life in a town/county/state that at best should be called an oligarchy and at worst a fascist state. This is not my idea of Democracy.
Please join me in speaking out against this clear violation of the basic American right to vote.
Adolf “Red” Meier