Amid widespread public anxiety about 2020 voting processes, we invited our fellow county lawmakers to sign a letter counseling patience on election night and expressing confidence in the U.S. electoral process. Unfortunately, no Republican legislators signed.
Our letter encouraged citizens to vote; shared information on early and absentee voting; and warned against “any attempt to discourage, block, intimidate or interfere” with anyone’s voting rights.
Our letter also noted that, to protect public health during COVID-19, the counting of absentee ballots may “take time, possibly days or even weeks beyond Election Day” and urged residents to show “patience, restraint, and respect for the electoral process.” It pointed out that multiple investigations — including two federal probes launched by Republican presidents in 2002 and 2017 — have turned up little evidence of voter fraud, either in absentee or in-person voting.
Finally, the letter called on Dutchess residents to disregard all claims of fraud unless they are investigated and confirmed by conclusive evidence. We pledge to do the same. The full text is posted at dutchessvoice.com.
Rebecca Edwards, Poughkeepsie
Edwards is the minority leader of the Dutchess County Legislature. The letter was signed by Nick Page and Frits Zernike, who each represents parts of Beacon, as well as seven other Democratic legislators.