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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : opinion : opinion November 25, 2020

11/10/2020 11:03:00 AM
Afterthoughts On The Election
  • The Lincoln Herald welcomes Letters to the Editor from our readers from our primary service area (Lincoln, Gaston, Catawba and Cleveland Counties) about current news issues or shout outs about someone’s accomplishment in their community or school. All letters submitted must have the writer’s real name, phone number and address (we will not publish the address or phone number). Some letters may not be published if they contain any personal issues, bad language, etc. ALSO, If you would like to be considered for a guest column just let us know and we can give you all the details. We look forward to hearing from our readers! Email us at

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

President Trump has refused to concede in the Presidential election race. That is certainly his right. There is no legal obligation for him to concede--even if the election is certified to go to his opponent.

He also has a legal right to ask for investigations into any alleged election misconduct--but just saying it happened isn't enough; there needs to be some real evidence.

Much of what has been said so far is purely opinion--and opinion not based on fact. Rudy Giuliani made statements that former heavyweight boxing champion Joe Frazier voted in 2018 in Pennsylvania, noting that in Giuliani's words, 'he died in 2015.' Actually, he died from liver cancer in 2011, and there is ZERO evidence that anyone claiming to be him voted in 2018. Giuliani, who has lied so many times he has lost any credibility, also said Will Smith's deceased father voted. Again, he didn't, and Giuliani hasn't produced any evidence that someone claiming to be him voted.

Locally, a Lincolnton woman posted on Facebook that "Many, many ballots were mailed to the deceased." She said a friend in Catawba County received a ballot for her deceased husband. Again, rumor and opinion--not supported by evidence. I told the lady to supply the name of that dead husband and we'd pass it along to the local Elections Office to investigate. Asking for a ballot for a deceased person is a felony, and the Elections Office only mailed ballots that were legally requested.

Another Lincoln County resident posted "I received three ballots in my name, which I pitched because I knew I was voting in person." It's not that she is intentionally speaking an untruth, it's likely that what she got (both parties mailed them out) was information about requesting an absentee ballot. The local Elections Office confirms, they didn't mail her--or anyone--three ballots. Another said, "My sister got two. They didn't come from the local elections board." The Elections Office--and nobody else--can send out absentee ballots. What her sister likely got was the same thing as the other lady--info on requesting an absentee ballot.

There have been election irregularities in NC. Two years ago, a person tried a scam involving absentee ballots in NC's 9th district. He's currently doing time, and a new election was held.

The former mayor of Charlotte was convicted after he voted in the 2014 election while he was still on parole from another conviction. As a convicted felon who had not completed his sentence, he wasn't eligible to vote.

In 2016, one of two allegations of someone voting illegally was thoroughly investigated when votes were cast in Lincoln and Mecklenburg counties by someone with the same name. Actually, the names weren't EXACTLY the same. The father (Sr.) voted in Lincoln County, where he was legally entitled to vote, and his son (Jr.) voted in Mecklenburg, where he was living.

It is true that because of a computer error, Mecklenburg County's Elections Office sent out a second ballot to many voters at one point this year. When it was discovered, they invalidated one of the two ballots. Because absentee ballots are numbered and once received and confirmed to meet requirements the record of them is entered into official records, there was no opportunity for someone to vote twice.

If from this election or any other in the future you find any real evidence of wrong-doing, please make it known, not by Facebook posts or the news media, but to the Elections Office.

On a different note (but same tune, the Election of 2020), I was disappointed that--or so I understand--the Republican Party Executive Committee endorse three candidates for the Lincoln County Board of Education. Two of them were incumbents, Heather Rhyne and Mark Mullen. The third was Christina Sutton, who was running in a three candidate race that included Kirk Herbertson, another incumbent and a registered Republican.

They are welcome to their own individual opinions, but it seems to me very inappropriate for a political party's executive committee to make such an endorsement, especially one that did not include an incumbent from their own party.

I don't believe the Republicans or the Democrats should make any endorsement in the School Board race, which is nominally non-partisan. Even if their party has only one candidate for a particular seat, it's supposed to be a non-partisan race (and it should be) and a D or an R won't be on the ballot beside any candidate's name. The parties should let the race be truly non-partisan. We don't need more Democrats or more Republicans on the School Board; we need people who will put politics aside and do what they believe is best for our schools.

On a very similar note, I'd like to see the Lincolnton City Council pass a resolution to make City elections non-partisan and return them to odd-numbered years. Lincolnton is a rarity, one of only eight NC towns or cities who have partisan city elections. It's also rare in having those elections in even-numbered years when other important races--like President, US Senate, Governor, etc. are on the ballot and overshadow the City election.

The Council approved a resolution putting Lincolnton City elections in even-numbered years when they were told that the state was going to do that with all city elections. The General Assembly talked about it, but the bill never passed. Lincolnton's election got changed--but nobody else's did.

Last year, the Council passed another resolution asking Rep. Jason Saine to introduce local legislation moving it back to odd-numbered years. Saine said the request came too late to be considered. Well, it's not too late now.

I disagreed with another Council resolution that favored term limits. That makes sense for national or state elections, but getting good people to run for local offices is difficult enough that if we find some who are willing and able to do the job, they need to be elected and re-elected as long as the voters like what they're doing.

While they may have some disagreements, I believe the four people who are going to be Lincolnton's City Council beginning in December all have the best interest of the city and its people at heart. Christine Poinsette, who will take the seat currently occupied by Dr. Jim Watson, will do an excellent job. She has considerable experience; among other things she served as chair of the County's Planning Board. Roby Jetton, Dr. Martin (Marty) Eaddy and Mary Frances White are also quite capable and passionate about doing what they believe is best for the city. The same is true of Mayor Ed Hatley.

Once we say 'non-partisan,' let's make it so. Both the Democrats and Republicans should stay out of the non-partisan races.

We've had too much division in this country--and in this county. It's time to come together for the common good. Let's make 2021 a much, much better year than 2020.

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