LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A job well done

Published 8:03 am Monday, November 9, 2020

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In great division, unity. In disruption, order.

Each of us and our fellow citizens throughout the country has just been afforded every opportunity to participate in the nation’s grand experiment in democracy.

How utterly remarkable.

Although views about outcomes may not please everyone, the act of doing something together, collectively and as a unified people is exactly what has enabled this country and its people to be provided incredible opportunity for around 250. And all of us continue to be critical to that outcome.

The citizens of Stanly County owe a huge debt of gratitude to the members of the Board of Elections and, especially, its professional staff. Months and months of careful planning, strategizing and organizing ultimately led to a safe and secure election for all.

Mine was the honor and privilege of being a small part of the national effort and serving as an election official since September. Early on, three teams each made up of two people from each party went to senior living facilities and helped residents apply for absentee ballots, sign them properly and verify their addresses, birthdates and Social Security numbers.

Occasionally oversights were made and the applications were returned to the resident who filled in missing information while two members of each team watched again. The process was repeated as the teams went back to verify accurate voting by these same residents.

Last week, the chief judges in each precinct had every item in place necessary to set up their polling sites. The items had been pre-sorted and catalogued through intense preparation and intricate planning by the staff.

In addition to supplies, meticulous instructions were pictured showing how to lock and secure the ballot and tally scanners and correctly use the computer program that flagged any person who had voted already by mail or absentee ballot. In addition, quantities of masks and gallons of hand sanitizer were included to ensure every person’s health and safety.

Absolutely unbelievable. If my perception from the fringes of the entire national process is accurate, the electoral system is designed to be implemented at the highest level and most ideal to ensure integrity, transparency and accuracy of every person’s choices.

For any citizen or elected or appointed leader across the country to cast doubt on the process or procedural controls is unfair and disrespectful. And it demonstrates a lack of appreciation for the many professionals and millions of volunteers sworn to uphold the erand experiment and the election laws of the nation and state.

If you ever have occasion to be at the Stanly Commons to walk, visit a county office or go to the farmers market, stop in at the Elections Office and say, “Know of my deepest gratitude. A job very well done.”

Jim Sawyer