Count Every Vote

To the editor:

Many US Citizens are voting by mail during this pandemic. This is a sensible step and their votes must be counted. A recent report on National Public Radio points out “in a handful of states, election workers can’t begin the work of opening envelopes, verifying signatures and removing secrecy sleeves, let alone counting, until the day of the election. In swing states where the margins of victory are likely to be close, those rules may mean it takes hours or days after the polls close before a winner is declared. (npr.org/2020/10/23/926258497/when-will-mail-in-ballots-be-counted-see-states-processing-timelines)

This tells us that we will not know the true result of the upcoming election on election night. Processing, checking signatures, and counting take time. All votes must be counted, and we as a nation will have to be patient. Do not expect a clear result on election night. Depending on how many ballots are received, it could take several days and possibly more than a week for elections workers to complete counting. I am hoping media networks do not treat the occasion of our national elections as a sporting event in which they declare “final results” within hours of polls closing, and we citizens must not allow a candidate to declare victory prematurely, nor a court to shut down vote counting early. Every vote counts and must be counted.

Anne Hanson
Craftsbury