Voting’s over but the counting is not


To the Editor:


There is a pretty clear consensus: everyone appears ready for this election season to conclude.

Voting ended Tuesday; however, realistically, it is going to take time for election officials to count all the ballots. Due to increased health concerns, more people mailed in and voted absentee than ever before. More than 1.3 million voters in North Carolina requested absentee ballots for this year, as compared to the 231,000 total ballots requested for the 2016 general election. This should be celebrated. More residents of North Carolina joined together in community to exercise one of our most precious rights – to vote.

Please hear me, absentee ballots take longer to count due to strict security measures to verify the authenticity of those ballots. (The deadline to accept absentee ballots in North Carolina has been extended to Nov. 12.) Given this information, it is undoubtedly going to take days for election officials to count votes and verify a winner. This reality is exhausting but denying it will not change it. We are in this together. It will take time.

Counting every vote is not a partisan issue. It’s the opposite. Making sure every vote is counted is the basis of our democracy; protecting this process is one of the most important things we will do besides casting our ballots.

It’s OK if it takes weeks for democracy to happen. We are in this together. Our communities and future are worth it.

Marah Stefanisko, Sylva


Awake but blind in the year 2020


To the Editor:

It is so difficult to speak when your heart is broken and you know that calling 911 will make no difference. Our only local newspaper informs us, weekly, of the terror of this COVID-19 pandemic, so anyone who dares question the statistics that are published about the physical deadliness of this virus is terrified to speak.

Will we ever read stories in our local paper about the actual number of local businesses and their families who have suffered catastrophic damage from this hysterical reaction to this pandemic? How many lifelong friendships have been severed and ugly, judgmental statements made due to the distorted and deceptive country-wide media coverage of this political nightmare? Will no one speak out against this deliberate and systematic destruction of the democratic republic that millions of heroic Americans have died to protect and preserve? Will no one ever admit that this whole fiasco is not really about two old men named Trump and Biden because they will never suffer like the majority of us will regardless of how this election turns out?

Closer still to being the cause of my broken heart is the very public, political leadership vocally defending the rights of the BLM movement and abortion providers and statue destroyers while failing to fully fund the excellent and exemplary program; “Circles of Jackson,” as well as repairs in the Chipper Curve Road area that would directly benefit many local, native African Americans. These same leaders invite us to vote on spending millions of taxpayer dollars on an indoor pool and a new animal shelter, but did they invite our local, native black population to help them decide about destroying historic public property?

Will there ever be an article in our local paper about the disastrous effects of refusing to open our public school buildings in 2020 and spending millions of taxpayer dollars to build a ‘highway to the local college’ while simultaneously wiping out many local businesses that are already devastated by this wholesale shutdown of our local economy? I question what “freedom of speech” or “safe spaces” actually mean in this community, anymore.

I wonder if any of my local Democratic friends are liberal enough to read a book by a homosexual atheist named Douglas Murray titled “The Madness of Crowds” or listen to him speak on YouTube in a presentation titled “Michael Shermer with Douglas Murray – The Madness of 2020 (Special Episode)”? Or how about listening to two African-American intellectuals named Glenn Loury and Robert L. Woodson Sr. speaking on YouTube entitled “The Glenn Show – Islands of Excellence – Robert L. Woodson, Sr.”,  from April 30, 2020?

Lorraine Arnold, Sylva