People of every spectrum agree voting is important.

Everyone believes all who wish to vote and meet the requirements of their state should fairly cast their vote on election day.

It should be done in an orderly process to ensure that each vote is properly cast, tallied as quickly as possible and reported to the public. However, there are differing views of how to accomplish this.

Temporary rule changes were instituted in 2020 because of COVID-19. Issues of voting have been a hot political issue for much of the last year. Some believe we should return to the norm that existed prior to last year. Liberals want to permanently change the rules, while conservatives saw issues that need to be updated. In Virginia, the Democrats unilaterally passed laws that many believe will make elections more susceptible to fraud.

All should want to be comfortable that the candidate who receives the most votes should be declared the winner. Without a transparent voting and counting system, questions will arise. One cannot fault a losing candidate for complaining that they were robbed, but if the system is properly overseen by observers, the issue usually goes away quickly. The temporary rules that were used last year were not carefully planned out, giving rise to concerns about who were the victors last year.

Many have criticized President Trump for his failure to accept election results. However, those same people were silent when Secretary Clinton refused to accept losing to a flamboyant television personality four years earlier. In fact, people forget that even 10 months after the 2016 election she was denying she lost. Then computer experts were talking of manual recounts, questioning computer tabulations. Sound familiar to this year? In Georgia’s election for governor, Stacey Abrams is still declaring after three years that she won. Discontented candidates are nothing new, only how the media presents it.

In Washington, the Democrats’ solution, as proposed, would transfer control of elections from the people in communities and have elections controlled by Washington. The federal government with its efficiency, what could go wrong? Many states are satisfied with their traditional policy while some, such as Georgia and Florida, have chosen to update their laws to allow for easier access to voting prior to election day but requiring such things as identification showing you are who you say you are. Texas is trying to accomplish the same, but all the Democrats chartered a plane to Washington to avoid voting on the new laws. Unlike Virginia, which requires a simple majority for a quorum, Texas requires two-thirds of legislators to be present, effectively delaying any legislative action.

Virginia has chosen to take the opposite direction. The Democrats eliminated the law that requires that one show a photo ID. This, even though in previous years voters were offered a free photo ID. They legalized “lockboxes” to place your vote. Lockboxes are for those who request to vote by mail, trusting the post office to get them a ballot, but not trusting the post office to return ballots to the registrar’s office! What it does do is allow “bundling” of ballots. This is when an individual, probably paid, turns in multiple ballots. Prior to this, only the voter could cast the ballot in person or by mail. If by mail, a witness had to sign that the voter had indeed voted the ballot. With the new law, Democrats removed the requirement of that signature. Now no one will have any idea who collected the ballot, whether the voter was coerced, or even if it was the voter that cast the ballot.

Additionally, the number of days that someone can vote absentee has been dramatically expanded. Election Day has been converted to election six weeks. This leaves local government with the responsibility of hiring help to accommodate this whim. Additionally, they have changed the law requiring someone to register a month before an election. Now, one can register and vote on election date. Any reasonable person understands that election days are busy. This limits the ability for the registrar to determine if that individual is a legally qualified resident.

One must question who benefits by these changes which creates more doubt about our elections.

Ruff is a state senator representing parts of Halifax County. Contact him at Sen.Ruff@verizon.net, 434-374-5129 or P.O. Box 332, Clarksville, VA 23927.