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Rioters climb the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.

OK, play along here.

It’s 2024 and the country is about to celebrate a new four-year term for the winning presidential candidate. The winner won in a tight race, decided by key victories in crucial electoral-vote states. It was similar to the last election, when the vote tally was questioned by the losing candidate.

Just like the prior election, conspiracy theories and anger run amok, with a certain political party challenging the outcome’s validity. The candidate’s victory is seen as a surprise since many states had instituted laws and roadblocks considered detrimental by some to voting blocs that normally went to the winning candidate.

Now, news arises that members of the losing party, in as many as a dozen states, will file legislation in 2025 concerning how people can vote. The complaining party alleges widespread voter fraud. While no facts support the claims, the losing party is stunned by the outcome, given the tough rules put in place after the 2020 election.

About not having facts to prove their case, that particular party says, “Just feeling it and saying so” is enough to validate their claims.

Many election prognosticators are just as bewildered by the results, given the enormous roadblocks placed on certain voting groups, as some alleged, to suppress the votes of those voting groups.

The group fighting to thin the number of voters says it’s high time to adhere to the statement by an Arizona congressman way back in 2021 that said in part: “Quantity is important, but we have to look at the quality of the votes as well.”

Supporters of that notion say it will be left to them to decide what vote, or voter, is of the quality needed to be part of one of the staples of the U.S. Constitution.

Consider some of the restrictions being considered for 2025 across the country, on the heels of the egregious changes we witnessed in 2021. The proposed changes seem to be focused on certain ZIP codes and precincts.

Here are some of the proposals:

Persons in line to vote can’t use cellphones, sit in chairs or use apparatus such as walkers or canes to help them stand. The rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act will be waived on Election Day in certain precincts. Again, no one will be allowed to provide water, food or umbrellas to voters in line.

If a person has a medical condition while in line and someone came to their aid, that person, should he or she recover, would not be able to vote.

Drive-thru voting times will be shifted in some districts to five hours a day for just two days instead of over a week. (It is well-known that large percentages of certain voters take advantage of the all-day, weeklong drive-up voting.)

Early voting, another favorite of older voters and those who generally favor candidates of a certain party, will be reduced to one day, down from two to four weeks.

Then, after the votes are all counted, a certain party in power in that state will be allowed to swoop in to negate the will of the people in particular counties and determine the new, official vote count. In most states, it will be known as the “I-just-want-to-find-11,780-votes” amendment.

On the other side, the usual suspects have responded claiming voter suppression and arguing the U.S. is better when a democracy encourages and supports the ability of its citizenry to vote.

Those with that thought are under increasing attack for such democratic ideas.

Their message: Get everyone to the polls and stop placing impediments solely for the advantage of a certain party and candidate. Their effort is called the “Let Freedom Ring” movement.

Folks on both sides in 2024 claim the continuing deterioration of a bedrock of democracy as unproven claims and attacks against free voting continue far in advance of the 2028 presidential election.

Some people are saying we must stop the madness and seek a more perfect Union rather than the building the repression of opposition. Till the 2028 election, let us pray for our democracy.

Email Edward Pratt, a former newspaperman, at epratt1972@yahoo.com.