Your vote: too valuable to sell

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 25, 2008

In Dallas County we haven&8217;t endured the shocks of those in neighboring counties who now have concerns about people who traffic in votes.

It appears widespread, if one believes the attorney general.

On Monday, Attorney General Troy King asked the

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U.S. Department of Justice to become more forthcoming with cooperation about alleged improprieties in the recent primary election.

On June 5, King&8217;s office served subpoenas in Perry County to take custody of records relating to the June 3 primary election after he received allegations of illegal activities at the polls.

He served similar subpoenas for election records in Bullock County on June 10 and in Lowndes county on June 16.

King urged people in Perry County to contact the Justice Department to monitor the June 3 primary.

Observers reported their concerns about the alleged buying and selling of ballots.

So far, the Justice Department has not revealed any portion of its investigation or findings to anyone, including an increasingly frustrated King.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Beth Chapman also took action by creating a new Voter Fraud Unit and appointing members of her legal and elections divisions for training to speak to people about election fraud.

Additionally, Chapman has established a Web site, and a toll free number for people to report incidents of voter fraud.

The Web site has a report form collected and reviewed by Chapman and the Voter Fraud Unit and passed onto King for further review.

One vote matters &8212; the reason for such concern about the trafficking in them.

Here in Selma and Valley Grande, we&8217;ll soon have municipal elections.

Everyone should join together to ensure fair and equitable elections on all fronts.

We all hurt when somebody breaks an election law by offering their vote for sale, by purchasing votes, voting as a dead person or someone who is absent but has not changed addresses, or countless other ways people might try to rig an election.

If you see something happening or hear or suspect, take the time to call Chapman&8217;s office or go to the Web site and fill out a report form.

If you are approached about your vote, call King&8217;s office and report the offense.

Fortunately, we haven&8217;t seen or heard of any irregularities in elections here in the heart of the site of the place that pushed a federal government to approve the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

If we remain vigilant, perhaps we won&8217;t have to endure the worries, inconveniences and shame the other counties have now that their election materials are in the hands of state officials.

Too many people died for the right of this country to exist. The founders of this country established a method to continue our freedoms from oppression by a foreign power.

Certainly, we can carry out the mission by ensuring the vote remains pure.