Letter to the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to thank those who have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to prepare for the primary election on June 28. As a candidate for County Clerk, I felt it was my responsibility to go visit early polling locations to observe the good citizens that work to make sure we can cast our ballots early and securely.

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Mike WaltersBut it is this "securely" that has me concerned. Last Thursday, in the Madison County Administration Building, mail-in ballots were processed by checking signatures for registration, making sure it was noted this person had voted early so there can be no double voting and running through the ballots through the machine. I commend the election judges and the poll watchers that worked that day.

However, there were a couple of issues that came up that day that I find disturbing. One, the County Clerk’s office said there were 941 ballots to be counted but at the end of the day, there were more than that, even after some ballots had been disqualified for incorrect signatures, no signatures and other reasons. It is unclear why the difference – where did these extra ballots come from?

Even more disturbing was at one point a small pile of ballots were brought into the room by an employee of the county clerk’s office who said – these were on my desk. What were these ballots doing on her desk when they are supposed to be secured at all times? Worse yet, some of the ballots had coffee stains!

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The explanation from the Clerk’s staff was some of these people had signed in the wrong place and they were calling them to come in and sign in the right place. If that’s the case, the ballots should not be sitting on a desk – they should have been secured.

I’m not suggesting there is fraud. I am suggesting there is a laxness and a lack of procedures in the Clerk’s office that can cause problems in the most important part of democracy – the voting.

I will be at the Administration Building again on election day to continue to observe. As Tom Stoppard said, “It’s not the voting that’s Democracy, it’s the counting.”


Mike Walters

County Board Member and Republican Candidate for Madison County Clerk

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