Letters to the Editor

Focus should be on counting all ballots

The editorial from Nov. 18 is misguided (“Voters must decide if mail is worth risk”).

Voters who fulfill their obligations under the law have no further burden for ensuring their vote is counted. Not counting votes cast according to the law undermines faith in the democratic process and devalues participation.

We need to encourage people to participate in our democratic system and work to ensure everyone has faith in the process. Many voters are not aware their ballot may not count if mailed because they have faith in the system. Others may not have time to drop off their ballot, which is why they voted by mail in the first place, or may not trust a political party to handle their ballot.

We do not tell voters who participate in person that their vote may not count because of a processing procedure, so why do we do that for absentee ballots? Does The Gazette’s editorial board feel these votes are somehow not as valid because a person is unable to vote in person?

We have an obligation to make sure every vote is counted, regardless of how close an election may be. If a person wishes to participate in an election in good faith and follows all proper procedures, according to the law, their vote should not be denied because of its processing by a third party. The Legislature needs to fix the law to ensure all eligible votes are counted in future elections.

Nathan Thompson

Chairman, Winneshiek County Democrats

Decorah

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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