We hear a lot of praise in these dangerous days (and rightfully so) about all the heroes who keep our troubled world turning.
There are the doctors, nurses, technicians and staffs of clinics and hospitals who work right up front, courageously, in the danger zone of Covid-19 infections. Many of them, when virus infections spike, suffer a terrible emotional toll. Other heroes include those doing “essential” jobs: teachers, police, deputies, mail carriers, medical-emergency workers, retail clerks and so many others who have no choice but to go to work just to pay bills and put food on the table. We salute them all with utmost admiration, thanks and gratitude.
And then there are the other heroes we should also thank – those who keep the very foundation of our democracy, the voting process, in working order. Those heroes are the people who volunteer to ensure when voters come to the polls to vote, those votes are carefully, accurately counted – and accounted for. Those good people of a wide variety of ages know democracy starts right here at home, at the grassroots level, in local voting booths, in which we get to choose who we would like to represent us.
These volunteers go through training to learn exactly how to make the voting process a free and fair procedure. Like doctors, like nurses, these election volunteers (election judges, as they’re known) are not only on the front lines of democracy. They are not only ensuring the integrity of the voting process, but this year they are helping voters stay safe at polling places through sanitation measures, distancing and the wearing of masks.
We hear a lot of bloated nonsense lately about the horrors of voting fraud, of millions and millions of phony ballots submitted to sway an election – especially mail-in ballots. The fact remains that study after study show that voting fraud – of any kind and description – has been virtually non-existent. Such baseless and alarmist claims of voting fraud are most often used to justify voting-suppression efforts or to cast big-time doubt on election results. If these voting-fraud rabble-rousers would spend more time worrying about Russian interference (and then doing something about it), we would all be better served.
Back to the heroes – the election volunteers. We can all rest assured, thanks to their impeccable efforts, that every vote cast will be counted. If and where there may be irregularities, those problems will be discovered, resolved, dealt with in the review process.
Thank you, election heroes! Because of all of you, we citizens can with confidence cast our votes now and on Nov. 3, Election Day, thus keeping our trust and faith in the free and fair voting process – the very foundation of the American Way.
Author: Dennis Dalman
Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.