Letters to the editor for the week of Jan. 31

Voting can bring us together

Dear editor,

In response to Jerry Cornfield’s editorial “Of ballot errors and boxes” published Jan. 17, 2020.

Prior to our current system of mail-in ballots and ballot boxes, voting took place in school gymnasiums. Children knew there would be no P.E. that day as grown-ups came to do something very important.

Sometimes they were included in this process by accompanying their parents later in the evening to cast their vote. For one day, the gym was the gathering place where neighbors visited and caught up with one another while standing in line to cast their vote on a machine. Kind of a neighborhood potluck without the food.

Fast forward to today where mail-in ballots and drop boxes have replaced the machines and gymnasium. With high-volume elections this year, both mail-in ballots and drop boxes are needed to accommodate voter’s schedules.

As an election worker at a ballot box on election night, I’ve witnessed the younger generation casting their first vote - complete with selfies. Or, new citizens to our country proudly participating in the political freedom we enjoy - with selfies. Or, people rushing to get their ballot in the box with seconds to spare - no time for selfies. It is an exciting event.

The ballot box, especially on election night, is probably the closest to capturing that comradery that people miss.


Tish Gregory