An unfortunate byproduct of Donald Trump’s declaration – unsupported by facts – of pending corruption at the polls is that it impugns the integrity of precinct workers.
Those citizens work at least 15 hours on Election Day and attend a two-hour class beforehand. They evenhandedly enforce rules and laws designed to prevent cheating and intimidation at the polls, believing that free and fair elections are integral to our democracy.
This year, their work may be made more difficult because of Trump’s call to his faithful to become watchdogs of a process that experts say is remarkably free of scandal.
If poll watchers are trained, civil and abide by the rules, that’s fine. But if they are at the polls convinced there’s a massive conspiracy to prevent their guy from being elected, there could be disruptions and delays that might discourage some voters from not marking ballots.
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Our elections have worked and worked well, I believe, because of the dedication and sacrifice of our friends and neighbors who invest their time and personal integrity in preserving an electoral system of which we should be proud, not suspicious.
Lanny Larson, Clovis