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What Have We Done?

It is now five days after the election and we have no definitive answer as to who won. I know there were other times when the results were not known, but that was back in the horse and buggy days. With today’s technology things ought to be better and not worse.

It would appear that most Republicans voted in person, while most Democrats used mail-in ballots. Hence the discrepancy in the totals. I wonder what created that disparity.

I am not sure who was responsible for the new mail-in system, but it seems to be a nightmare. While I welcome the counting of everyone’s votes, I see a drawback with the system we used. The U.S. Post Office was overwhelmed with ballots. The deadline for mail-in votes should have been earlier, I think. There should have been none that had to be postmarked by election day. This is not like tax-day where you owe money and want to hold onto it as long as possible.

Some states mailed ballots to all of their registered voters. I do not think this should have happened either. People might have moved. Some of those people probably died of perfectly natural causes. Just because they are registered in a certain district does not necessarily entitle them to a ballot. They should have had to apply for it with their signature and current address. Is it possible that people could be registered in multiple areas?

Years ago, I used an absentee ballot because I had a baby due on election day and was not sure when I would deliver. That is what they are for. They are also for students who are living at college temporarily. They are for our military who are not living at home. They are for people who are shut-ins who are unable to get out to vote. A friend said it correctly, although it was her ninety-fifth birthday, she planned to vote in person. Thank goodness she was able to.

This process had better not be used again! It is a nightmare. As the volunteers go through all of the ballots, once they are removed from their original envelopes there is no tracing them — the volunteers admitted this on camera. Pennsylvania said they would not discriminate to count them because of their signature. Come on, their signature is on file. Just like I had to sign in when I voted, so should the mail-ins – and the signatures should match. There are just too many unknowns in this system. Legislators, please clean it up before the next election.

The idea of counting ballots long after the deadline is nonsense. They had plenty of time to get them in. If they failed to meet the deadline, they should not be counted.

Ideally, people should have to appear in person, with photo identification to verify their identity and their current address. This is my preferred way to vote. It is easy in our small districts to know who should vote there, but in the big cities they definitely should have photo identification that includes their current address as well. Remember I believe you must have lived in an area for at least a month to vote there.

The political parties are so different these days. When people go to the polls, they vote their conscience. Many people split their vote to be able to vote for locals that they trust. The longer this process goes on the more errors that can occur.

In my mind the media elected our president this year. There was no fair reporting. It was definitely biased. Some of it was simply not true. Since the last election the media has been nitpicking each and every detail. No matter what the president did, he did not do it right. Our president got no respect! He is not a politician. This is the first time in my 70 plus years that the press has been so vicious. You simply cannot believe anything the mainstream media says. Incidentally, I rarely listen to the mainstream media! That can be avoided by tuning to channels that are not owned by the mainstream media giants.

The president was blamed for the pandemic. Excuse me, but the closure of businesses was done by the governors. Many of these businesses will never reopen. Trump shut down immigration once it was determined that China played a part in the dissemination of it. That was a plus in my mind.

If you lost someone to COVID-19, I am sorry. The handling or bungling was done within the states — blame your governors! Will you elect them again?

I am not sure how many of those who voted by mail could actually fill in their ballots as directed. It appeared to be a difficult process. If they did not follow directions, they were not to be counted. Were they? It is like anything else in our society, if you do not follow directions, you lose out. If you go to college and do not turn in your assignments correctly, they are ignored. So should those votes be ignored.

Lesson learned — the system we used this year did not work! It was flawed from beginning to end! Would Biden have won anyway? That is not really the question here. The question is the integrity of the election process.

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

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