TOM WARD – Our votes in jeopardy

TOM WARD – Our votes in jeopardy

Many years ago, I recall a local legislator coming up with a cockamamie proposal that would have given specially marked driver’s licenses to state legislators and their wives. The legislator was new, and the bill so bad that I assumed it was like a hazing incident when a young man is trying to join a fraternity. In this case, it was the Democratic Party fraternity, and this rep was given the job of taking the heat for proposing such a dumb bill. By doing so, he’d prove his loyalty to the regime.

In any case, the bill went nowhere, because everybody knew it was designed for legislators and their spouses to get special treatment from police when their “license and registration” was asked for in a roadside matter. Legislators aren’t always in the car with their special license plate, you know!

Cynical? Yes. And not ashamed of it.

So here we go again. A few weeks ago, we learned that Rep. Anastasia Williams, a Providence Democrat who certainly is no rookie and has earned her party bona fides, hatched a plan that she and others privileged in Rhode Island, including judges, should have the right to tinted glass in their cars in order to not be recognized by the huddled masses, the deplorables who protest here. The particularly troublesome pro-life advocates were cited by Williams as especially annoying during the debate to make permanent Roe vs. Wade abortion rights in the state.

In order to gain backing for such a remarkable group, she also would allow tinting for special interest groups like police and firefighters. No doubt having the support of union leaders who represent them will give more power to this self-serving effort.

But, did Williams consider the fact that if hundreds or thousands of windows were tinted for the special class, those cars would eventually be sold and become used cars? And might they then be coveted by criminals who would hide behind them and endanger (drum roll, please) the police?

This shameful bill needs to be rejected, and the sooner the better. Tinted windows are banned, and for good reasons. Keep it that way.

Nightmare Iowa

The Monday night catastrophe in Iowa, where the Democratic Party was not able to properly count the ballots from the statewide caucuses, I hope gives all of us pause. I think our system of elections is in real trouble, and once we don’t trust elections, our collapse will begin. No one will be able to govern. Election “losers” will revolt.

As of this writing Tuesday morning, I still don’t know what happened. I note the Providence Journal celebrating the high-tech caucus voting by Brown University students. Count me as unimpressed, and concerned.

First, the fact that the Iowa caucus drives the national political picture in ludicrous. It’s past time we hold regional primaries....perhaps six in a two-month period. Rotate them; make nobody “first” permanently.

Second, I don’t trust technology and the people behind it, and I don’t support early voting. With ballots cast weeks in advance, do you trust politicians or hackers to not jigger them? I don’t. On a single election day, it’s easier to protect the integrity of ballots.

Then we have our own Rhode Island public officials who don’t support Voter I.D. I assume they’re up to no good.

It’s been 20 years since Bush vs. Gore and Florida’s hanging chads. Iowa’s Monday Night Massacre tells me we’re not getting any better at this.

Simple paper ballots. Less time to vote. Registered, identified voters. Only those with malicious intent – on either side – complicate this.

Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze


I've often wondered if the General Assembly member's special car tags exempts them from Rhode Island's annual car tax?

Does anyone know for sure?

Happy to agree with all of Tom's opinions here.

Canada has paper ballots and counts them pretty quickly. 'Low tech' prevents a lot of problems.

No, they are not exempt from paying the excise tax. They pay taxes just like the rest of us.