EDITORIAL: There’s no fraud

IF WE’RE GOING TO BE CALLED “the enemy of the people” for another four years, I’d prefer that the person making that remark was a legitimately elected president.

What we do know right now is that we don’t know who the next president will be, no matter what the current president says.

What we also know that we have county elections officials who are doing a good job at making sure our votes get counted and the public knows the results. The unofficial results were available not long after the polls closed, which is how it should be in our digital age. The numbers have to be unofficial because absentee ballots have not yet been counted.

The next steps include “reconciliation” of ballots. What election officials do is to make sure nobody ends up voting twice. What? Fraud? Rigged Election? No! Anyone eligible to vote in New York state can send in an absentee ballot and then change his or her mind and vote in person. The county elections board staff checks all absentee ballots to be sure there is not also a voting machine ballot from the same person. If there is, the absentee ballot is discarded. That takes time.

This election in this year-one of a pandemic has also created some new challenges, like a person with symptoms of Covid-19 infection who nonetheless wanted to vote. Election Commissioners Ken Dow(D) and Kelly Miller-Simmons (R), taking care for their personal health and safety and that of others, got the person an absentee ballot. “They were just trying to do the right thing,” is how Mr. Dow saw it.

The real story is that here and across the country there are honest and dedicated people helping us and our neighbors vote and taking care that our votes count.

The president called absentee ballots fraud. He’s wrong. Repeating it over and over doesn’t make it true. All votes matter, including those cast on absentee ballots. Delays after the polls close are normal in a system as large and complex as a presidential election.

There’s no fraud here. But there is deception.

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