News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 9/28/2022

“Pity” = liberal arrogance

To the Editor:

Man, oh man, am I glad to live in a country where President Trump fought tirelessly for me to have the ability to disagree with every single line stated in “Trump and the law,” John Apres, Letters to the Editor, The Nugget, September 21.

To suggest “pity” oozes the liberal arrogance and condescending nature of dismissing the voting choice of more than 80 million Americans. Fortunately, even with the chaos of the current administration and its inflation, recession, crime, open borders, lack of consequences for violence, vandalism etc. we will undoubtedly have another election where if you are an American citizen and can prove it you will be able to make necessary changes once again.

Brian Chugg

Regarding Mr. Lyons' Letter

To the Editor:

Regarding Mr. Lyons’ self-pity regarding those who favor Mr. Trump “The Nugget, Letters to the Editor, “Trump and the law,” September 21): He writes of “alternative facts,” yet doesn’t cite any facts in his letter either for or against his opinion. Like the one-sided media outlets, Mr. Lyons is telling everyone to take pity on those who support Mr. Trump. Though Mr. Lyons titles his letter “Trump and the law,” I’m extremely surprised that throughout his letter, there is not one absolute, stated fact of law. Rather, a left-sided opinion piece that continues to echo hate wrapped in a package that is disguised as “pity.”

He goes on to write that “those individuals, while earning pity, merit accountability for their actions.” I can’t agree more. Let’s see accountability for those who let cities burn and called them peaceful protests; those who “defunded the police,” while crime continues to skyrocket in most major metropolitan cities; skyrocketing inflation that has hindered families to be able to afford the basics to survive; and a border that should be considered a humanitarian crisis if it was happening in any other country.

Mr. Lyons, how did you feel when Senator Schumer threatened Brett Kavanaugh, inciting an assassination attempt? How did you feel when Maxine Waters stated, “We’ve got to get more confrontational,” as major cities in America were on fire? Is that “constitutional”? Mr. Lyons, if you’re going to title a piece with the words “The Law,” then please use facts to support your opinion rather than providing another inaccurate opinion that limits substance to back your claims.

Brent Irwin

Zombie ballots

To the Editor:

I was at an event the other day and got into a brief conversation with a local who told me that in-person voting was far safer than voting by mail. How so? Because it’s too easy for hundreds of dead people to vote by mail. I asked for examples and was told that a daughter’s friend had a deceased relative who voted. How did the friend learn of that, I wondered aloud. Not known, but the person died years ago. Hmmm...

More recently, I took a tour of the Deschutes County elections process and highly recommend it! As a result, I would be extremely surprised that a forged signature could get past the signature validation process. If a person fills out a ballot and submits it via USPS or drop box and then dies, that ballot is acceptable for counting votes — assuming signature passes scrutiny and other envelope validity tests.

How would the friend know that the dead relative’s ballot was counted? I mean, we all can go to the Secretary of State’s Office website and enter My Vote with our name, birth date, and zip code to confirm our ballot was received. But votes counted?

From USPS or ballot box, once in the clerk’s office, our ballot envelope is scanned for several bits including presence of signature. Those with signatures are checked by human eyes for validity, and when a valid match, the ballot is separated from the envelope. No names are on any ballot — only on the envelope. Counting numbers of ballots and scanning votes is a separate process. That way, only you know who or what you voted for or against.

We will know if our envelope was rejected for invalid signature per a letter from the County Clerk stating that we have until 21 days after election day to return the signature card via mail or in person. By the way, if we do not respond, our registration is inactivated.

If a voter does try to vote more than once using a deceased person’s name, they have two big hurdles: They must be able to accurately forge the signature, and they must have access to additional ballots. As indicated on the ballot envelope, signing a ballot for someone else is a felony punishable up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. No person or entity can go to a county clerk’s office or the Secretary of State’s Office and pick up a stack of blank enveloped ballots.

We cannot get another ballot unless we go to the county clerk and explain why we need a replacement ballot. Maybe the dog chewed the mail, you voted for the wrong person, etc.

The only way people do submit more than one ballot in Oregon is if they had lived with or cared for a recently deceased person, had received the dead person’s ballot in the mail and for some reason decided to vote again by forging the deceased’s signature. Interestingly, the county regularly reviews the obits in all the local papers and cancels deceased voters from the system.

Zombie ballots are extremely rare. Example from Ballotpedia: USA 2020 general election (of) 161,303,109 total ballots, 560,177 ballots were rejected, or 0.8 percent. Within rejected ballot reasons, 8,403 were because the voter was deceased. Thus, in 2020, a mere 0.00005 percent were rejected zombie ballots. Oregon’s vote-by-mail never has hundreds of ballots from dead people.

Susan Cobb

Conspiracy theories

To the Editor:

Observation: We live in an age of conspiracy theories.

Conspiracy Theory —a theory that rejects the standard explanation for an event and instead credits a covert group or organization with carrying out a secret plot.

Hallucination — a false perception of objects or events involving your senses: sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Hallucinations seem real, but they’re not.

If we become a nation that relies on conspiracy theories as the source of what we believe is real, we will become a halluci-nation.

Lawrence Stoller

Morgan Schmidt for County Commission

To the Editor:

Morgan Schmidt is the leader that Deschutes County needs right now.

Anyone who has followed what Morgan is doing for Deschutes County residents knows she has a proven track record, inspires hope and optimism, and leads from a place of compassion and understanding.

Morgan also respects science, asks questions, and embraces logic.

Deschutes County is not well-served by elected officials like Patti Adair who have extreme and illogical views.

Commissioner Adair has repeatedly made decisions based on her personal politics, often going against the recommendations of County staff.

During the COVID-19 pandemic Adair undermined the County’s public health experts.

She fought against mask requirements (the purpose of which was to keep anyone vulnerable from getting sick), fought to open churches during the peak of spread in 2020, and vocally supported Ivermectin; a snake-oil treatment scam pushed by a charlatan Florida organization.

(Ivermectin is an anti-parasite drug for horses.) It is deeply troubling that any government official tasked with overseeing a public health department spouts unfounded ideas.

One must wonder if anyone adhered to Adair’s unwise advice and what impact her poor public health performance had on the health of Deschutes County residents. In contrast, Morgan Schmidt responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by forming Pandemic Partners, an online resource that aided thousands of Central Oregonians, and while doing so, she sought the opinions of people who are experts in their fields. The COVID pandemic won’t be the last major challenge facing the County, where basic sciences ought to be respected by public leaders. I want to trust my County Commissioner to seek and use factual information, because not to do so is simply irresponsible to all of us.

Morgan is the leader that we deserve in place of Patti Adair. Join me in voting for Morgan Schmidt for County Commissioner in November, for real leadership and fact-based decision-making in Deschutes County.

Monica Tomosy

Offensive flag

To the Editor:

I usually enjoy my trip into Bend over Fryrear Road. It’s a quiet, rural road, and I can have calming thoughts about the day ahead.

Last weekend, as I came around a curve, I was jolted from those thoughts by a huge, glaring Trump flag. OK, people have their rights, but under the flag was the extra, added, huge “F--- Joe Biden” flag.

It was, of course, offensive to me on so many levels, but as I passed it, I realized that this country road is also a Sisters School District bus route. It’s so disheartening that politics can take priority over common sense and morality.

Beth Wooderson


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