Votes should be tabulated efficiently, accurately in all states

By John R. Stone

The midterm election vote counts in Georgia, Florida and Arizona may or may not be resolved, but I am still kind of surprised at some of the things that popped up during the election.

For one, television stations showed long lines at some polls, like a block or more line in which people stood for multiple hours to vote. How long would you stand in a line to vote? I could probably stand 20 to 30 minutes, then I would be campaigning to get some election system that was more convenient.

I think it is ridiculous that people would have to stand in line for over an hour to vote. People who would inflict that upon their constituents have no business being in office. Granted, we only vote every year or two, but this is a fundamental part of a democracy, the part where the people decide how they want their government to work. Every polling place should have trained staff, functioning equipment and enough of it to handle the anticipated number of voters.

That anyone would think that legitimate voters should have to stand in line for hours or go through outrageous hoops to be able to cast a ballot flies in the face of everything that this country stands for. People who put up obstacles like that shouldn’t just be voted out of office, they should be tossed in jail until they come to their senses. Their bail hearings should face the obstacles that voters face.

Every eligible citizen should be able to vote in an efficient and respectful process. And every legitimate vote should be counted in a reasonable period of time, and if that doesn’t happen, any deadline should be expanded to allow those ballots to be counted. Every vote legally cast should be counted. Period.

We have it pretty good here in Minnesota. I know the folks who run Glenwood’s elections do a great job. The place is well staffed, people know what they are doing and the equipment works. I’m sure other folks working at other polling places do as well, but since I vote in Glenwood it would be illegal to try it elsewhere! Pope County seems to have its act together very well, results are tabulated efficiently and accurately. That is the way polling places should work for everybody in the United States, regardless of state.

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It was kind of interesting to see so many races so close nationally. The senate race in Florida was unsettled as of this writing as was the governor’s race in Florida. There seemed to be a larger difference in Georgia in the governor’s race. A couple of our Minnesota congressional races were close as well. It just goes to show you that every vote counts!

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Last week I wrote about our road trip. It was kind of interesting to get back home and find that the cheapest gas I put in the car was the fill-up before we left and the fill-up when we got back.

The weirdest was out in the Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota. I paid $3.08 per gallon for 87 octane regular gas within site of oil wells! Of course, oil has to be refined to be usable in a car and the strange thing is that there are no refineries around, although I think one is going to be built. It was strange looking at oil wells pumping as I put $3.08 per gallon gas in the car!

Every place we stopped in North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota gas was at least $2.90 and I had two fill-ups over $3.00.

When we got back to Glenwood Nov. 2 gas was $2.64 and has gone down since. I saw a $2.43 before sending this in to Tim.

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It seems to strange that Thanksgiving is already with us! It is as early as it can be this year. May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving.

You only have to look at the news of people walking across Mexico on foot to try to get to a place that is safer and offers more opportunity. We have that here, and we should be thankful that we do. Far too many people in the world don’t.