Readers’ Views

Protecting ballots

To the Editor:

Fellow citizens:

I am writing regarding the innuendoes, numerous news articles and comments surrounding “mail-in ballots” for the Nov. 3 election. I am reading about delays in mail delivery, legal challenges, postal funding being held up and mail fraud concerns.

As head election judge for the city of Elmore, I want to assure you that I feel all the election judges in Faribault County, and throughout Minnesota, take our positions very seriously.

After the coronavirus became the pandemic it has throughout the United States, many states began looking ahead to the future and the importance of a fair and safe election process. Many ideas and options were discussed to assure the safety of voters, as well as the integrity of the election process. As you know, one of them was the idea of the mail-in ballot.

Each voting precinct within Faribault County was given the option of holding our elections as we had in the past, making safe-distancing options in our election precincts or doing the “mail-in ballot.” Many of us — after examining our voting areas and not finding effective ways of keeping our constituents, as well as the judges, safe while performing their right to be able to cast their ballots — opted for the “mail-in ballot.”

After asking a number of my friends and neighbors within my precinct, I, along with my city administrator, advised our City Council to vote for the mail-in option for the August primary election, as well as the November national election.

Several of the people I had asked about the ballots for our city wondered if there would be a way they could take their ballots and actually put them into a locked ballot box in Elmore and have them counted safely and legally. After asking our county auditor, who contacted the Secretary of State, we were able to come up with a viable solution.

I hope many of our Elmore citizens took advantage of their opportunity to cast their ballots for the primary election and then put it in the ballot box located at the city clerk’s office. The box also will be there for the Nov. 3 election.

Because there seems to be an increase in the number of virus cases in the United States, our state included, I am glad I encouraged my City Council to vote for the mail-in option.

Please exercise your right to vote in the Nov. 3 election and we, your election judges in Faribault County and Minnesota, will do our best to make sure your vote is safe and counted.

Vicki Boeckman


An insidious message

To the Editor:

It is encouraging to see active participation in the political process this fall as indicated by all the campaign yard signs around Fairmont. One sign is hard to miss: the large, 4-by-4-foot, brightly colored sign (lit up at night) on Albion Avenue. It states: “Trump 2020: No More Bull____.”

The insidious, divisive message of the Republican Party’s candidate for president has arrived in Fairmont via this sign. Insidious means “Working or acting maliciously with subtlety and stealth.” Malice means: “The will to do harm to another.”

This sign is offensive, disrespectful and just plain sad. It is offensive to the people driving down the street who happen to look up and see it. It is disrespectful to the residents who live around the sign and must look at it day in and day out. It is mean-spirited. Use of derogatory language undercuts simple, decent discussion on the important issues. It is a distraction from what really is important to Americans today: health care, incomes, jobs, family security. Of course, to distract citizens is the purpose of such a message and the purpose of the campaign by the president.

Why even discuss this issue? Why waste one’s time on this topic? Simple. This country and Fairmont residents are better than this sign. We are.

Finally, and not least: What about the children who walk by that yard and see that sign every day while going to their school located two blocks away? “Mommy,” says the second-grader, “What does the word, “Bull____” mean?” “Why is that bad word on a sign in somebody’s yard, mommy?”

Do the residents of the home who placed such a vulgar and mean-spirited sign consider children? What about being good role models for young people. What kind of example does this set?

Peter Engstrom


Social Security on ballot

To the Editor:

Donald Trump has put the survival of Social Security and Medicare on the ballot, not only by his words but also by his actions. He has ordered a tax holiday from collecting payroll and self-employment taxes that are the major funding sources to pay for our Social Security and Medicare benefits.

He states that, if elected, he will permanently end that dedicated funding source, and claims that somehow the general fund revenue will cover these programs. For that to be true, Congress would have to pass tax changes that would likely explode the deficit even further.

Once again, Trump wants you to buy another “pie in the sky” theory like his other recent fictional pieces of pie like, “We’re rounding the turn” on COVID-19 (distribution of any vaccine is months away) and “COVID affects virtually nobody” (over 7 million positive cases have been reported and over 200,000 have died — real people, not “virtually nobody.”)

We cannot keep believing in Trump’s “sky pies,” just like we cannot trust Congressman Jim Hagedorn to represent our interests when it’s clear he only represents Donald Trump and the special interests who fund his campaign with huge amounts of money. Vote them both out by voting for Joe Biden and Dan Feehan and help in the fight for Social Security and Medicare funding for seniors and future generations. It’s time that Trump and Hagedorn eat some humble pie.

Brian Roverud

Blue Earth


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