A Letter to IN State Senator Carlin Yoder

Senate vote

Roll call of votes on SB 1 by IN State Senate members.

I apologize. This is not my normal subject matter of my posts, which pertain to writing (albeit I could argue it is letter writing); however, after the approval of SB 1 in my home state of Indiana, I am feeling quite passionate and decided I needed to write my IN State Senator, Carlin Yoder, of District 12 an email. I recommend that fellow Hoosiers see how both their IN State Representative and IN State Senator voted and write them letters as well, because no matter what party you favor, you should be appalled that the voices of 1.3 million voters were ignored.
(Side Note: I promise this will probably be the first and last time, I dabble in politics on here.)
Sent 8:10 p.m. 2/17/2015
Mr. Yoder,

I will start this email by stating that I have voted for you in several past elections, both while I lived in Elkhart County and then this past election after I moved to Turkey Creek Township. After researching the other candidates, I felt you were the best to do the job for our district; however, after your vote on SB1, I have to say you have lost mine. I cannot vote for a politician who would vote yea to allowing the nullification of 1.3 million votes and the changing of an elected position — one that has been voted on by Hoosiers for more than 100 years — into that of an appointed position.

Hoosiers, no matter their party lines, should be frightened and outraged by the actions you and your colleagues have taken. You have taken us to a dangerous precedence. Where does it stop? If future ruling party is not happy, can they too just pass a bill and erase the “undesirable” outcome? I just keep coming back to 1.3 million votes. Do you realize how impressive that number is? We live in an era where voter turn out is quite low, and there is just a feeling of apathy, particularly among young voters. Yet 1.3 million voters turned out and voted for Ms. Ritz — more than what turned out to vote for Mr. Pence.
What message does this bill give voters who usually don’t hit the polls? It tells them exactly what they have told themselves every other election: My vote doesn’t matter. For their own reasons, 1.3 million Hoosiers were passionate about this election, about Ms. Ritz. Why should they be passionate again? After all, their vote was thrown out.
“Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.” Our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, said these words while delivering his Gettysburg Address. I feel you along with others in Indianapolis have forgotten this concept. How can a government be of the people, by the people and for the people if votes can be thrown out and elected positions changed to being appointed at the whim of the party in control? To me that seems like removing the people, and I don’t care if Ms. Ritz is “just a librarian” or there was “dysfunction.” Ms. Ritz was elected by Hoosiers for a reason: They did not like where Republicans were taking education.

Rather than taking such drastic measures that discount how our country functions and throws out the votes of so many, why not smooth out such “dysfunction” and actually work together rather than being so stuck to a party’s agenda. Because you see, that is what is wrong with our country: Politicians can’t work together anymore and actually complete a job. No, they just do whatever their party wants, ignoring the people for whom the government is suppose to be for.

In all this shameful maneuvering, I’m just grateful that one politician elected to serve my district had the gull to stand against his party and stand for democracy. I was so proud to see that Rep. Nisly listened to the people and respected democracy enough to not nullify 1.3 million votes.

I can only hope that come election time Hoosiers will remember the names of all those who voted for this upheaval of democracy and vote them out. Politicians who voted yea on this bill are dangerous. While we’d like to believe that our democracy cannot fall — that what has happened in other countries’ histories, can’t happen here in the U.S.– that it is not the case. Ironically, today, the day of the vote, I came across a quote given recently by Margaret Atwood: “Nothing makes me more nervous than people who say, ‘It can’t happen here.’ Anything can happen anywhere, given the right circumstances.” You and your colleagues have put the building blocks in place.

I hope in the future that you will not be so locked into doing what your party demands and will do what is best for your constituents.


Sarah Wright


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