Voters should pay attention

Published 8:22 pm Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Selma City Council has certified the municipal election of last Tuesday.

But it does not mean the election is over.

Some candidates in Ward 4 have hinted they’ll contest the election because students from Concordia College voted at the Selma Mall precinct. As Carrie Pressley said, “That’s not their permanent address. That’s transient.”

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We’re not sitting as judge and jury on this issue. Only pointing out the issues with elections, voters and poll workers.

In this election 109 ballots were challenged.

Among those, a total of 13 of those 27 who voted at the polls were rejected. Why? Two had insufficient documentation, two were not registered at the time of election; four voted absentee and tried to vote in person; and five voted in the wrong precinct.

Add to that 65 of the 82 ballots cast by absentee were rejected. Why? Forty-two did not have proper identification; 20 had insufficient documentation; two were not registered at the time of election and one voted in the wrong precinct.

If the community needs to get together and hold voter education classes, then so be it. But it is the responsibility of the voter to know how to vote; where to vote and what to do to vote — especially if that person will vote by an absentee ballot.

Some of the provisional ballots, however, couldn’t be counted because poll workers didn’t properly mark the envelopes. They didn’t know how to do their jobs. They took away someone’s vote.

Mistakes will occur. That’s a given and we’re all human.

But this election smacks of lack of knowledge.

It’s a lesson for future elections.