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Forum, Sept. 11: Calling for recount to confirm faith in electoral process

Published: 9/10/2020 10:00:14 PM
Modified: 9/10/2020 10:00:02 PM
Calling for recount to confirm faith in electoral process

Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary for the District 5 Senate seat was an incredibly close race. With reports coming through to New Hampshire Public Radio and WMUR just before midnight on Tuesday, the overall difference, of the 8,180 votes counted, came down to 68 votes. After speaking with many constituents and advisers, I have come to the conclusion that it is my responsibility to ask for a recount.

I make this decision based on New Hampshire’s Revised Statutes Annotated (Section 660:7) stating that, for state primaries, the margin for asking for a recount is “1.5 percent of the total ballots cast in the primary for that party in the towns which comprise the office to be recounted.”

The 68-vote difference from Tuesday’s primary constitutes roughly .8%, and that is well within the margin. This is why I feel that I owe this recount to my constituents and to the many people who have voted for me and shown their support. I want to be able to confirm for all my supporters that they can have faith in the process.

I have thought long and hard about taking this step. I have asked my supporters and I have asked elected state officials throughout the district for their advice before making my decision. I make my decision now with that advice in mind.

There is another important consideration that has played a role in my decision: This election, in the wake of the pandemic and massive adjustments to the absentee voting process, has forced towns to try new processes to make sure each ballot is counted. And, with a momentous general election just around the corner, it’s important for us to nail down inconsistencies in the new process to ensure things go smoothly in November, and to make absolutely sure each vote is counted and each voice is heard.

For me, asking for this recount is an opportunity to validate the process in all the towns so that each town is truly prepared for the upcoming election in November.

BEATRIZ PASTOR

Lyme

The writer is a former New Hampshire state representative and a candidate for the state Senate from District 5.

Vt.’s Legislature draining pockets of taxpayers

This year has been destructive to Vermont and the country. In particular, Vermont’s budget suffered a $400 million shortfall. Businesses as well as individuals are still harmed financially.

The Vermont Legislature came back in session at the reported cost of $2 million. Now, if I were in the Legislature, I would say to my colleagues, “Let’s figure out how to distribute the remaining federal relief funds, pass the budget, and stop the financial burden on the taxpayers.”

But these people don’t think that way. They have figured that while they’re milking the taxpayers they should pass more legislation at the same time.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, who wants to be our chief executive officer, could show his leadership by telling the legislators to pass the budget, take care of the remaining relief aid and then recess. There is nothing that time-sensitive in the legislation that can’t wait four months when they are in session and not draining our pockets even more.

Ask yourself, whether you agree with the legislation or not, why can’t this wait just four short months so we aren’t having to foot yet another unnecessary bill?

Better yet, ask your legislators and David Zuckerman.

KEITH STERN

North Springfield

The writer is an independent candidate for Senate for Windsor County.

Housing proposals promise traffic crunch in Lebanon

If the 550-plus housing units that are proposed in Lebanon within one mile of my residence on Wolf Road come to fruition during my lifetime, it might be quicker for me to attempt to walk to my treatments at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center than to venture out in my car. And I am not a fast walker.

Enough is enough!

TERRY GRIGSBY

Lebanon

Alford-Teaster will boost the trades

A large part of New Hampshire’s flourishing economy is based on the home-building industry. Many out-of-staters are moving up here and want to build new homes or renovate and add to existing homes.

But the work is bogged down because there aren’t enough people in the building trades. Potential work is on hold, waiting for the few credentialed and experienced subcontractors to shoehorn a job into their packed schedules. We need more knowledgeable carpenters, plumbers and electricians.

Think of how many more well-paying jobs there are just waiting for New Hampshire’s citizens if our educational system had the time, attention and resources to offer expanded vocational opportunities to our youth. Wouldn’t it be great to have apprenticeships arranged for high school students who are interested in careers in the trades?

What about folks who have been downsized or whose jobs have been eliminated due to technology or because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Imagine the lost potential and what we as a community stand to gain if they could attend affordable training for new and better jobs.

This is why I support Jenn Alford-Teaster for Senate District 8 (which includes the towns of Bradford, Croydon, Grantham, New London, Newbury, Newport, Springfield, Sunapee and Unity). She believes in the potential of all people to achieve their dreams and will work with business leaders as well as educators to help us all achieve better lives.

GAIL WILD

Newport

Our nation cannot absorb hordes of unfortunate people

I am a Republican — a sane one, I assure you — though some may think it is not possible for anyone to be Republican these days without being insane.

I read Charlie Buttrey’s letter (“How the Republican stance on immigration has changed,” Sept. 2). I didn’t get mad. It is clear he must disparage our present position. He cited pronouncements by George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. They both sounded sincerely compassionate about it back then. Yes they were. But that was 40 years ago. The circumstances have changed drastically since 1980.

I have seen Buttrey’s previous Forum letters. I have no doubt he is a nice guy — a good American. But please explain for me how our nation can possibly absorb unrestricted, illegal immigration by hordes of poor unfortunate people from around the globe.

We have already seen what happens in the states they have heavily settled in. I won’t even go down the list of obvious problems.

You might say: “Well, we should stop calling them ‘illegals.’ Make them legal and gain all rights and benefits of U.S. citizens out of compassion for humanity.” That would not solve anything.

Those who believe that are for sure motivated in this by admirable compassion. But “C’mon, man” (as the folksy Joe Biden loves to say). Please explain for me how our nation can possibly deal with what would happen if we go with this heartfelt plea for compassion?

KEN PURDY

New London

Why Trump will win in a landslide

In stating his preference for former Vice President Joe Biden, Forum contributor Bob Scobie, an avid Democrat, stated that he had “serious qualms” about how Republicans could support this president (“President Donald Trump is subverting our democracy,” Sept. 2). I wouldn’t expect someone who supports a man who has stated, “we have over 120 million dead from COVID,” and “If you don’t vote for me you ain’t Black!” to understand Republicans.

As for the claim the president was critical of health officials, he offers no proof. But if he means the criticism of the World Health Organization for its early praise of China’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, then yes, the president has rightfully called the WHO a puppet of China, and many Americans would agree.

The president has serious concerns about mail-in voting, as absentee ballots were still being counted three weeks after the June 2020 primaries in New York, and that can easily tempt fraudulent activity. In a democracy, we should know the results on election night.

Recent events, such as the multiple guilty pleas in New Hampshire for “wrongful voting” in the 2016 election and the arrest last week of a West Lebanon man on charges of voting twice in that election, should concern everyone.

But the most prevalent threat to our democracy is the destruction of private property and the vandalism, looting and burning of businesses in many U.S. cities whose Democratic mayors step aside, let it happen and tell their police to stand down.

This violence, veiled under the “Black Lives Matter” theme, is destroying our democratic way of life, along with our national monuments. Try to explain to Republicans how this behavior is acceptable.

Remember, no person is above the law, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi always says, so tell her she needs to wear a mask.

Trump 2020! In a landslide!

JOHN NELSON

Wilder




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