Issues at poll shouldn’t trump rights

To the editor:

Is there anyone out there whose computer, iPad, smartphone or a myriad of other technological devices has not at one time or another had an issue of not working?

Have you ever gone into a store or a doctor’s office and been told to wait, as the system is down or they have to reboot? Has your car ever stopped for some unknown reason, and you’re later told, “The computer quit working and needs to be replaced?”

A common occurrence, right?

Meanwhile our county has decided they can run elections and be almost totally at the mercy of technology. They have decided that the only venue that taxpayers have in exercising their most sacred and fundamental right and privilege as Americans, the right to vote, is chained to computers.

I’m not going to list all the problems that occurred at the last election, but I will give one example that I observed. I spent much of election day at Vineyard Community Church supporting my candidates. At 6 p.m. one of the election officials announced that the polls were officially closed, and if you were not in line at that time you would not be allowed to vote. This is the correct procedure.

A woman immediately approached the official and asked if she could vote as she had just gotten off work. The election official told her, “No the polls are closed.” The woman appeared to be upset but turned and walked away. She immediately returned and again asked if she could vote and explained that she had been there that morning before work but the voting machines were down and she couldn’t wait as she had to be at work.

By this time the woman was almost in tears, and again the election official denied the woman the right to vote. She turned and walked away, at this time obviously crying.

The election machines at this polling place were “down” for approximately 40 minutes according to this newspaper. How many other people in the county were in effect disenfranchised by technology and our voting procedures? Have we now sacrificed people’s Constitutional rights for the sake of government convenience and the newest fad? Did you get turned away on election day?

If so, a meeting of the county election board will address this and other voting problems at 7 p.m. June 21, Commissioners Court room, County Annex. Please attend as both voting procedures and your Constitutional rights will be discussed. This entire process must be straightened out before November’s election.

Mike Flynn