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Well done to all who made democracy work

Yesterday morning I spent nearly three hours observing the Presque Isle County Board of Canvassers as they carefully reviewed Tuesday’s general election. Guided by county Clerk Ann Marie Main, the canvassers carefully picked through a list of essential actions required of each city, village, and township. The board’s goal was to certify that each jurisdiction followed Michigan’s election law, dotting every “i” and crossing every “t.”

Similar meetings have been held in Alpena and throughout the state. These “after-action” evaluations are an essential part of our government.

This year, it is fashionable to question the integrity of the voting process. Accusations of fraud and vote-rigging whiz around like super-bouncy rubber balls. But as Hagrid, the gamekeeper in the Harry Potter novels, would say, “Codswallop!” To which I add, “Bilge! Baloney!”

Certainly, our election process is not perfect. For example, because of COVID-19, many precincts were overwhelmed with Absent Voter Ballots (AVB). This was a smart way to vote for older folks like me. But AVBs take longer to process than ballots voted in-person. In some places, poll workers labored into the wee hours to count every vote.

Election security is really about people who give generously of their time to do the grunt work of democracy. Therefore, we ought to celebrate those who made this election work so well. Our secretary of state, county and local clerks and their staffs, election inspectors (poll workers), poll challengers and watchers, canvassers, and our diligent Postal Service employees who delivered so many AVBs on time — all deserve our gratitude. Well done, everyone!

THE REV. JOHN E. LAYCOCK,

Presque Isle

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