Letters to the editor Dec. 2

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Every ballot has been counted

Nowadays we hear from those who want to revert to the conservatism of the Constitution writers. The original Constitution allowed voting by 6 percent of the population, all of them male, white, and owners of property. Since people like Tom Paine were already advocating for government BY the people, it is not surprising that the disenfranchised began to agitate. As early as 1850 the property ownership requirement disappeared. The movement toward universal suffrage — buoyed by women — moved step by step toward more democracy.

The founders of the Constitution allocated laws regarding suffrage to the states. The states have used a number of gimmicks for returning to a situation that allows only a small percentage of the population to be voters. Here is a list.

Purging voters who have not voted in six years. (So far 16 million.) Applications for voting rights were printed on paper that was too thin. (Tens of thousands.) Lack of proof of citizenship. Lack of acceptable photo ID (In Texas college student IDs are not OK. Open-cary gun permits are OK). Refusal to restore citizenship to former felons. (So far, 6 million.) Requiring college students to vote in their parents’s precincts. Disqualifying ballots with trivial mistakes.(Wrong date) Shrinking early voting to a few days and hours. Cutting the number of poling places. Reducing the budget for purchase of voting machines and employment election officials, thus creating intolerable line waits. All of this to benefit the party in power.

I, however, live in the state of Montana. I’ve worked at a number of elections. I’m extremely proud of our election laws and rules and the record of our election officials. In Montana we find ways of encouraging voting and making sure every vote is counted.

The recent substantial increase in mail-in ballots has increased headaches with vote counting. The machine rejects ballots with smears, teas, coffee spills, etc. A team of three — one Republican, one Democrat and one Independent — is assigned to make the ballot countable. I have worked on one of these teams for more than 10 years. Not once did the team fail to agree on the voter’s intention, and they sent the justified ballot back to the machine to be counted. Not one ballot was ever missed. Every ballot in Flathead County has been counted and counted correctly.

—Robert O’Neil, Kalispell

Russia probe must continue

I sent the following to my federal representatives, including President Trump (changed a bit). I urge all to contact our federal reps to protect the Russian Investigation.

I see that President Trump requested Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign Nov. 7. President Trump has repeatedly stated that he was upset with Attorney General Sessions because he recused himself from investigating Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election almost immediately upon taking office. I believe President Trump was hoping AG Sessions would protect him from the investigation of Russian interference (Order No. 3915-2017)

I, as well as the majority of the American public, support Mr. Mueller and his work. I, as well as the majority of the American public, believe President Trump will be vindicated at the end of the investigation. President Trump has nothing to fear.

Mr. Rosenstein’s letter appointing Mr. Mueller states clearly for him to “..INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE WITH THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION...”

Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election? Why would anyone not want to investigate? Why would anyone not want to protect our Country from outside governments? Why would President Trump not want to be vindicated through Mr. Mueller’s probe?

I urge you to think of your legacy. You must use your fiduciary duty to do what is right for this country. You must voice your concern to both President Trump and his future Attorney General to do nothing to stop or hinder Mr. Mueller’s investigation.

Thanking you in advance for protecting our country from outside influences,

—Susan Repa, Lakeside

Facts, not talking points

Re: “People who aren’t Democrats”

Tom Shaughnessy of Kalispell, with all due respect, you have your assumptions and information one-hundred and eighty degrees wrong. Psychologically, that’s called, “projection.”

Check your history. The KKK was the militant arm of the Democrat Party. Senator Byrd was a recent member (check his autobiography). Furthermore, do you know that Nazi is short for, “The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, or the NSDAP: In German, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterparte? Ocasio-Cortez and B. Sanders are avowed Socialists, not to mention “Beto.” Do you know that so-called “white supremacists” are a fringe group? Republicans have never endorsed such movements, and cannot be held responsible for who votes for them. Frankly, they are not worth anyone’s time during political campaigns, and are eschewed by both parties. Most of the people that you term, “deplorable” are people who still believe that our country offers the best hope of freeing people from despotic rule, i.e., an environment where other people control you. Defend your position with facts, Tom, not talking points concocted by the misinformed.

—Ward DeWitt, Bigfork

Election rehash

There were four parties on the ballot this year in Montana. The Democrats, Green Party, Republicans and the Libertarian party. The Green Party was forced off the ballot by a liberal judge in Helena. The Libertarian got 13,000 votes even though the candidate dropped out of race, and if Matt Rosendale had gotten those votes, he might have won. If the Green Party was allowed to stay on the ballot, I think Matt would have won this election.

— Fred Hammel, Kalispell

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