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Can we trust our country?

Last Word | November 14th, 2020

By Marc de Celle

marcdecelle@midco.net

As someone who has voted for both Republicans and Democrats in the last decade, and who has participated as both a poll worker and an absentee vote counter in the last five years, I feel it's my duty as a citizen to point out that in every state, both Republicans and Democrats count votes together, in a system that both parties created together so they could watch each other.

Sadly, I make a lot of people mad by standing up for the integrity of our American democracy. The vote is dependable. That's why the Presidential Commission on Voter Fraud created by Trump was disbanded -- try as they might, they simply couldn't find any (beyond less than .001% of our votes, a fraud figure that appears to have been consistent since the 1700s).

Our electoral system is a very common-sense system and virtually incorruptible. Of all the bad things that have happened in the U.S. in recent years, I believe the sewing of false doubts about the basic integrity of our electoral process is the single worst and bodes terribly for our future as a country. If we can't trust the vote, we don't really have a country. I'm honored to have met a lot of our North Dakota officials and former officials personally, from Doug Burgum, Jack Dalrymple, and John Hoeven to Byron Dorgan, Heidi Heitkamp, and Kent Conrad. I can assure you they all know the system top-to-bottom and know it is squeaky clean--not just in North Dakota, but across the country. They wouldn't participate in it otherwise or have it any other way.

We all need a damned good civics lesson on how voting actually works, the entire process, from beginning to end. There is nothing secret about it. It's an open, democratic process. Anyone from either party is free to work as a vote counter or in the polls as I have done--in fact, at every step, it is required that a representative of each party be present to witness what is going on. There's nothing mysterious or hidden about it, and all citizens are encouraged to participate (participate; not disrupt).

Casting false aspersions against our ability to honestly count our votes is the single most direct way to destroy the United States. Those of us who have participated in the vote-counting process and know-how reliable it has a patriotic duty and a moral obligation to speak up for the basic decency of the hundreds of thousands of our citizens, from both parties, who count our votes.

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