Stick to the facts
I got a very interesting piece of propaganda in the mail today, from a very brave person or group of persons who didn’t identify themselves, concerning the Orange City School District. This missive repeats all of Meredith Bond’s inaccurate talking points she made while pretending to be very much against the underhanded clawback of taxes, ludicrously attempts to defend said clawback by claiming that Hunting Valley is unfairly taxed (though they pay exactly the same millage as the rest of us) and tries to pretend that their odious attempt at slipping said clawback into an Ohio Budget Bill was absolutely on the up and up. Horsefeathers.
Newsflash for the perpetrators of this nonsense: repeatedly claiming something to be a fact doesn’t make it so. Twisting facts and claiming victimhood because your houses are worth a lot more than others in the district doesn’t help your case. Neither does an anonymous screed, or blaming those reporting the real facts.
DeWine made right move
I wish to express my appreciation for actions taken by Gov. Mike DeWine, Dr. Amy Acton and Secretary of State Frank LaRose to protect the health and voting rights of those who are ill or at risk during this health crisis. I, among others, registered my concern about the situation.
I was sick last week, with what I believe was a cold or a mild case of the flu. I traced my contact with someone who was sick and considered the incubation period. I did not believe I had coronavirus. I was thinking of calling my doctor on Monday, however, by Sunday I felt better. I decided to go for early voting on Sunday in order to avoid crowds. When I drove up to the Geauga County Board of Elections, the line was all the way down the sidewalk to the parking lot. And people were ignoring social distancing recommendations. I left the parking lot thinking about myself and an elderly, at risk, relative of mine, a citizen who treasures the right to vote. I started contacting people about the situation and I know others did too. The action to close the polls is an example of the impact concerned citizens have when we reach out to those we put in place to serve our needs. Gov. DeWine mentioned contact with concerned citizens in his press conference on Monday.
Here are the reasons I gave when I reached out:
1. President Donald Trump just declared it a national emergency.
2. People who are sick, even if they do not know if they have coronavirus, are being told to stay home.
3. People who have underlying conditions but who are active and mobile are being told to avoid situations in which they may be exposed.
4. People are being denied the right to vote.
5. It is the right thing to do for everyone.
We are truly all in this together. I pray people will take this virus seriously and consider the health and the rights of our vulnerable fellow citizens.
Anonymous letter troubling
I recently received an unsolicited letter titled Concerned Citizens of the Orange School District. The letter troubled me for a number of reasons. First, this letter is anonymous, for that reason alone it lacks credibility. If the writer(s) are so concerned, they should identify themselves. Second, there are any number of reasons that affect school ratings. Comparing schools based solely on the per pupil cost is not a fair or accurate way to evaluate this issue. The truth is that residents of Hunting Valley knew or should have known the costs of living there when they determined to purchase homes in that area. Now their whining raises no sympathy.
Voting from home can work
Gov. Mike DeWine’s measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus have been widely and enthusiastically applauded, but his latest push to delay the in-person voting originally scheduled for March 17 has been met with more mixed responses.
The proposal to delay in person voting until early June has received well founded criticism. Constituents ask, what about the campaigns whose spending was planned around the original schedule? What about people who voted early, possibly with a different fact set than we will have in three months? What about the potentially damaging precedent for handling future election schedules?
For what it’s worth, I believe this was ultimately a wise decision. It would be starkly inconsistent to shutter the entire state while encouraging everyone to get out and vote – but let’s put the decision itself to one side. Now that it’s been made, what happens next?
It seems to me that Ohio has a ready-made solution at its fingertips: absentee voting. Why not adopt this system to reach registered voters now? If boards of elections distribute ballots by mail this week, set a one-week return deadline, then waited 48 hours to open the ballots in order to avoid surface contamination, Ohio could still have its primary results by the end of March. Voters need only set their ballots in their mailboxes, and postal workers are surely wearing gloves by now.
Yes, there would be a massive postage bill, but at this stage, unforeseen expenses are inevitable across the board, and the benefits outweigh the costs of delaying so long. As we have seen throughout recent weeks, desperate times call for desperate measures; yet, to the extent that we can, we must carry on. While the governor’s responses have been timely and necessary, I hope to see some additional action along these lines.