To the Editor:

On Jan. 6, 2021, an unimaginable and unforgettable event occurred in our nation’s Capitol as domestic terrorists, many of whom were armed, attempted to overthrow the 2020 presidential election. In so doing, they also sought to destroy the hallmark of our democracy — the peaceful transfer of power from one political party to the other.

As we look back on the attempted coup, we are again reminded that a democratic republic is a fragile institution. Its continued existence depends in large measure on the willingness of ordinary citizens to protect it at every opportunity. Two steps that we can take to defend democracy include registering to vote and exercising that right in every election. Voter registration can be completed at https://www.co.wood.oh.us/boe/.

While vitally important, registering and voting are not sufficient to ensure the continuation of our democracy. It is imperative for all of us to remain vigilant and ever conscious of the fact that the suppression of voting rights for anyone results in the suppression of democracy for all. Consequently, a third step citizens can take is to exert influence on our legislative representatives to support laws that protect our right to vote.

Two bills currently pending in the U.S. Senate are the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, “The Freedom To Vote Act would set national standards to protect the right to vote, safeguard the electoral process, ban partisan gerrymandering, and overhaul our broken campaign finance system. The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act would restore the power of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, protecting voters from racial discrimination.” Both the Ohio and the national units of the League of Women Voters strongly endorse these bills, as does the LWV of Bowling Green.

Please use the links provided in parentheses to encourage Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman to support the Freedom to Vote Act (https://tinyurl.com/3vdtvbhm) and the John Lewis Act (https://tinyurl.com/bdebdzbn). When the democratic process is protected and all citizens have equal access to the ballot box, our republic will be strengthened, and the probability of the occurrence of events such as those of Jan. 6, 2021 could be dramatically diminished.

Janet B. Parks, president

League of Women Voters of Bowling Green