Demand change at elections board

To the editor:

After writing a guest column last month addressing my perception of problems at the Shelby County Board of Elections, a number of people — after agreeing about the obvious dysfunction at that office — asked why I was so passionate about something to which most people don’t give a second thought. One votes once or twice a year, and that’s that.

The reason is very simple. All of our God-given rights — free speech, the right to bear arms, the right to jury trials, etc. — all stem from the basic right to fair, honest and free elections with unimpeachable results.

Without fair elections, how can one expect to have a fair judge on the bench? How can one exercise his right to truly speak his mind to a city council or a county commission? How can one guarantee a fair property valuation?

Our forefathers established this country as a representative republic based on the concept of fair and honest elections for the masses. Over the last few years, can anyone in Shelby County unequivocally state that we have been afforded the same — in all cases? I think not.

The latest trouble at the Shelby County Board of Elections — allegations of outright wrongdoing as reported to police — furthers tarnishes a reputation in grave need of an overhaul. Whether those allegations prove true remains to be seen. However, once those questions are publicly raised, every election is now tarnished — as are our basic rights as the voting public.

Now, more than ever, I urge the community to contact the Ohio Secretary of State at 614-466-2585 and demand change. Now is not the time to be timid.

R. Michael Johnson