Letter: Protect elections, make needed money available

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Aside from the election of 1864, which was held in the midst of the Civil War, never have the circumstances surrounding an upcoming American election seemed so uncertain.

While no one can know for sure what the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic might be be on the November election, it is certain that a number of changes will need to be made in order to safeguard the health of our citizens. Precincts will need to establish safe distances between voters. Also, many of our poll workers are retired and might understandably be concerned for their own health.

It is also reasonable to assume that many people will choose to avoid having to vote in person. Absentee voting in N.C. is usually around 5% of the turnout, but there are estimates that mail-in votes might be as much as 40 percent of the total this year.

Clearly, the validity of this election depends on preparation and adequate resources. I urge the county commissioners to appropriate the necessary money to our local board of elections to do what will surely be a very difficult job. To cut funding under these circumstances would be inexcusable. As public officials, the county commissioners have a sacred obligation to protect our democracy by ensuring a fair and accessible vote, which is the very foundation of our freedom.

— Keith Townsend

Mt. Ulla