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Our local election won’t be ‘rigged’

Much ado these days from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump about the Nov. 8 election being “rigged” against him.

One leg of Trump’s claim is the alleged unfair coverage by the media that ignores negative stories about his opponent, Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, while it hammers his campaign with untrue, made up and unsubstantiated stories.

Since we have a free and independent press in America, media outlets have the choice to allow some stories to pass through while others are held back, and we encourage those who exercise this common, everyday gatekeeper function to do so in an honest, fair and ethical manner. Coverage of national events such as the presidential campaign is well beyond this newspaper’s scope and reach, so we do not have to shoulder those allegations.

Another leg of Trump’s claim is “massive voter fraud,” especially in the larger cities. He and his supporters fear votes cast by dead people, thousands of voters bused in from other states and undocumented immigrants who will vote for the Democrat candidate will tip the balance and steal this election from them. Some even claim voting machines have been manipulated to skew the results.

Plumas County voters can have every confidence their votes will be counted and the election will be conducted fairly.

Don’t forget, all elections in this country are decentralized and handled locally. Results are tabulated by district or precinct by duly elected local or county officials who are responsible to the voters.

Our local election official, Plumas County Clerk Kathy Williams, has overseen elections for decades. Every ballot cast in Plumas County is on paper, so there’s a physical record of every vote. The county’s voting system is not connected to the Internet, but is rather housed on its own server, so it cannot be hacked.

The ballots are counted by a machine, but following the election, a hand count is also taken of a sampling of the votes cast to make sure that they match the machine count. The process is open to the public to observe and anyone with questions can contact the election’s office at 283-6256.

It’s not difficult for any of us to see the deep political divisions in our country, the dissatisfaction with our government and the lack of support many feel for both major presidential candidates. While some strongly support one candidate or the other, many more voters reportedly see this election simply as a battle between two undesirable and unacceptable candidates.

Be that as it may, local voters should be confident their votes will be accurately counted and reported by the Plumas County Clerk’s Office.

Come Election Day, may the best candidates win.

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