Regarding Robert McCartney’s Dec. 15 Metro column, “Will the GOP try to steal the 2012 election? Well …”:

I take issue with Mr. McCartney’s ridiculous suggestion that “there’s reason to believe” that Republicans might try to steal the 2012 election. Mr. McCartney cited schemes previously used in predominantly Democratic areas in Maryland to suppress voter turnout by giving incorrect information, such as the date of the election. Certainly such schemes are reprehensible, but don’t citizens have certain minimal responsibilities­ — like knowing when the election is?

Mr. McCartney also apparently sees the requirement for voter IDs as a way to disenfranchise voters — and as unnecessary. He cited U.S. District Judge Dickenson Debevoise of New Jersey, who, “after reviewing piles of material submitted by both parties in a 2009 case,” concluded that voter fraud was extremely rare.

The question is, assuming no IDs were presented at the polls, how did the judge know who actually voted?

David Berry, Annandale

We join Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in calling on political parties not “to suppress certain votes in the hope of attaining electoral success” and to focus instead on winning elections “by appealing to more voters” [“Holder vows to enforce voting rights laws,” news story, Dec. 14].

While Mr. Holder is focusing on civil rights, he should also demand that the parties stop suppressing voter choice, which Republicans and Democrats both do by using legal technicalities to force qualified candidates off the ballot.

No one knows what happens to voter rights when candidate rights come under attack better than Mr. Holder’s boss, President Obama, who first won election to the Illinois Senate by forcing all four of his primary opponents off the ballot and running for his party’s nomination unopposed. As Mr. Obama proved, voter rights cannot be protected unless candidate rights are also protected.

Oliver Hall, Washington

The writer is founder and legal counsel to the Center for Competitive Democracy.