There are definitely lessons to be learned from the missed counting of some votes in our recent primary election. Most importantly, careful rechecking by the Secretary of State’s office caught the problem. The causes of the failures were identified. The votes were re-tabulated publicly and the corrected results were announced.

We, as citizens of a democracy, must be wary of engaging in the sort of careless talk expressed by Pamela Brant in her letter to the editor of Aug. 6. The “powers that be” she refers to in Maine include Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, who has taken great pains to protect the integrity of our voting and has endured the inevitable criticism for doing so. I don’t see anyone in our state with their “heads in the sand.” When the call went out for polling place volunteers so that Portland wouldn’t need to shut any locations, citizens quickly stepped forward.

Real steps should be taken to address the pandemic requirements of this election. Polling sites must be as safe as we can make them. We need extra equipment and people to handle the increased number of mailed ballots. An awakened electorate promises a huge turnout.

President Donald Trump has recently been singing his catchy tune of voter fraud, perhaps in an effort to delegitimize the 2020 election before the first vote is even cast. If the tune sounds familiar, you probably heard it back in 2016. Democracy will be better served if we don’t join in the chorus.

Michael F. Conley, Jr.

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