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November 17, 2018

Is each vote actually counted?

Dear Friends and Colleagues:

Being a good citizen means complying with the law and supporting our elected officials in the conduct of their official duties – as long as that conduct is in compliance with the duly-enacted statutes of the jurisdiction in which they serve and consistent with our venerable constitution.  In exchange for the heavy taxes we citizens pay, we expect to get honest governance.  And, being a good citizen means staying informed and speaking out when we believe that our elected or appointed officials are misbehaving or acting contrary to law or good order.

Our only guarantee of good and able governance as good citizens is our electoral process in which every citizen in good standing has the right to vote.  Voting and honest elections are the hallmark of American democracy.  But when the results of our voting creates razor-thin margins between candidates, problems arise.  Of late, that means that the losing side becomes distrustful of the winner – this especially true among voters on the left.  They too often claim that they have been cheated — and in certain places — they repeatedly seek to undo the official outcome (the vote) by insisting on recounts.  The latest examples are playing out (yet again) in Broward and Palm Beach Counties in Florida and in Georgia.  In all cases, the Democrat side is claiming that the Republicans are trying to ‘disenfranchise’ minorities and persons of color.  And, well after all deadlines have passed, the leftist side suddenly ‘discovers’ tens of thousands of uncounted ballots….  Recall also the true tale of the Daley Machine in Chicago and JFK’s squeaker based upon a sudden trove of ‘new votes’ from Chicago cemetery dwellers.

We’ve seen this movie before, and we didn’t care for it the first time.  It is old and dirty and beneath what we good citizens deserve.  And, unfortunately, it comes down to this:

We good citizens cherish our right to vote.  And we demand fairness in the process.  The election laws are clear as to voter qualifications, as to how ballots are supposed to be handled and the deadlines that must be met.  Next, it is incumbent upon local election figures to prepare for the elections, to check and recheck that there are sufficient resources (and ballots) and that all the staff – including the volunteers – are trained and qualified to carry out their duties.  None of this should be too hard.  Election officials have two years to review, plan, and prepare for this ONE-DAY affair.  But when our honest votes are cast into doubt and the ‘fairness’ and ‘honesty’ become suspect, we citizen taxpayers who PAY dearly for what we hope would be good government begin to wonder if we are being taken for fools.   We wonder whether Stalin was right when he trashed the idea of free elections by claiming that the voters don’t make the outcome: the outcome is made by THOSE WHO COUNT THE VOTES…

Our votes are the only way that most of us citizens can participate in our democracy.  And when the vote-counters – and out-of-town lawyers descend to challenge and change the result of our elections — it is WE WHO ARE TRULY DISENFRANCHISED.

Old Frank

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