To the Editor:
It has been with great sadness that I have watched this election season with the outpouring of hate, subversive tactics and incivility. I hadn’t expected to experience it personally. Last week I received an email warning that absentee voters in Virginia be aware that absentee ballots
must be both signed on the outside of the envelope by the voter and a witness or they would not count. I sent a text to my 19-year-old, away at college, fearing what I would hear. He voted for the first time in his life last year by absentee ballot. As I feared he had not had his signature on the envelope of his ballot witnessed. Imagine the number of
college age young Americans who may have made this same mistake, not reading the directions thoroughly. I called the state elections office in Virginia and was advised to contact the local office as they were the ones who collected the ballots and he would have to work with them to fix the mistake. I called the local elections office in Fairfax County.
The response from the woman who answered my call, with not an iota of friendliness, “Didn’t he read the directions? His ballot is un-witnessed and will be thrown out. Too bad for him, maybe he will learn a lesson from this to read directions.” I called back to speak to a supervisor and my name and number were taken. I read the voting rights for Virginia which state if a mistake is made before a ballot is cast then the voter can request to void the ballot and vote again. Well, since my son’s ballot was destined to be discarded, not cast, why not? I called again and was told that according to the woman in charge once a ballot was in the envelope it was considered cast and that she was not available to speak to me. Again my name and number were taken at my request. Sadly, I did not expect a call back and did not receive one. Given the lack of civility I received from this office and have seen in this election, why expect better.