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Arkansas PoliticsRead

When Democrats Told Me I Couldn’t Vote

By David Ferguson

Twice I was told by Democrat officeholders, “You can’t vote in this election.”

That was many decades ago. The first time this happened, some Republicans helped me secure my right to vote. Two years later I was again denied the right to vote but that time I immediately appealed to the county election commission and won my right to vote.

I was born on an election day and every so many years my birthday falls on an election day. From a young age I watched the Democrat and Republican national conventions with my parents. On election nights I was always allowed to stay up past my bedtime to watch election results with them.

I learned the importance of our right to vote from watching my parents and from listening to the public schoolteachers we had back then who taught about civic duty, the unique privilege of voting, and the importance of our American values under our Constitution. I appreciate and exercise my right to be an informed voter.

WHEN I WAS EIGHTEEN MY BIRTHDAY AGAIN FELL ON ELECTION DAY. I considered getting to vote on my birthday to be the perfect birthday gift.

I went to the clerk’s office to register and was told I could not register before my birthday and I could not register on election day. Although the U.S. Constitution clearly said I was eligible to vote at eighteen, I was told a registration procedure was going to keep me from exercising that right.

Back at college, I walked by a Republican booth. When one of the Republicans tried to talk to me, I sluffed him off saying, “No need to talk to me. I will turn eighteen on election day but can’t vote because the clerk says I can’t register before my birthday or on election day.

With my long hair and bell bottom jeans I looked more like a Democrat voter, but the Republican wanted to help me anyway because voting is important. A few days later I got a call to go to the clerk’s office and I would be allowed to register. I wish I knew the names of those Republicans who helped me so I could say “Thank you! And by the way I voted Republican -which is what I intended to do all along.

TWO YEARS LATER while I was still at college, my parents moved to another town which meant I would have to register to vote in a different location. I had no ties to their new town. But I had a strong connection to the college town because I had lived there for two years, knew about the local politics from television and newspaper, had previously lived there when I was young, and because during high school it was the nearby big town for shopping etc. So, I decided to register to vote in my college town.

The clerk told me, “You can’t register because you live in a college dormitory.” Because of the example of the Republicans who helped me two years before, I stood up for myself and immediately demanded an appeal.

The election commission did not like the idea of a college student registering to vote in their town and especially one who lived in a dorm room. I understand that.

After a lot of discussion, the commission ruled in my favor. I may have been the only Arkansas dorm resident to ever win the right to register to vote based on a dorm room being their residence, or at least one of the few.

Many years later the law still isn’t clear on the situation I faced. The current law declares a student to be a resident of the place where he established his home prior to going to college.[i] In my case that would have been a house where some other family lived and that just doesn’t work.

I did NOT like going to the election commission but voting was important to me.

THE LATEST DEMOCRAT ATTACK ON MY VOTE AND YOURS is mail-in balloting. Democrats claim mail-in balloting helps people vote and is necessary because of COVID-19. Mail-in balloting is different from the safeguards of requesting an absentee ballot. In mail-in balloting piles of unsolicited ballots are sent out by mail, sometimes multiple ballots arrive at the same house to the same person or to people who are not registered voters. Some are addressed to a dead person, a past resident, or even a long dead cat. And then there are the hazards of ballots lost in the mail. Lost ballots are such a big problem the Democrats are already blaming President Trump for any problems that may arise from lost ballots.

Arkansas has absentee voting but was wise enough not to adopt mail-in balloting. Unfortunately, several states have adopted the mail-in balloting mess which is ripe for fraud and has proven to be a disaster in the past.

Democrats want you to think COVID-19 is a barrier to voting but it is not. A few days ago, (September 8) I voted in person in a local school election. No waiting. Separation from workers and from other voters. Machines spread out. Everyone had to wear a mask and voters had to wear something you may not have seen before, a finger covering so your finger wouldn’t touch the voting machine. There were NO PROBLEMS, no matter what the Democrats want you to think.

The 2020 general election may have a big impact on our right to vote and on our Constitution. The security of our voting system is under attack and your ability to express your opinions in public is under attack.

    • I have already mentioned the mail-in balloting mess as being a danger to the security of our voting process.
    • Democrats continue to fight against measures to verify a voter’s identity, which opens the door to foreign citizens casting votes in our country’s elections.
    • The left has been working for years to shut down opposing political opinions by excluding conservative voices on college campuses and other venues.
    • The left supports Facebook and Twitter censors who shut down ideas the left does not like.
    • Democrat mayors in big cities have allowed riots to go on and on without any end in sight. It is not much of a stretch to think the radical left in those cities will next use intimidation and violence to try to turn away voters they don’t like.

In a few weeks I will be voting in person in the general election.

Voting is important to me. The right to vote in a secure election should be important to all of us.

Be informed and go vote.


VOTING IS EASY. Election Day is November 3, 2020 but you can early vote at your convenience beginning October 19, 2020.

The deadline to apply to register to vote is Monday, October 5, 2020.


[i] 7-5-201 (b)(6) Persons who are temporarily living in a particular place because of a temporary work-related assignment or duty post or as a result of their performing duties in connection with their status as military personnel, students, or office holders shall be deemed residents of that place where they established their home prior to beginning such assignments or duties.


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