YOUR VOTE COUNTS
Your March 18 issue contained an interesting juxtaposition of articles.  First was the piece by Dr. Stephen Soltys decrying Republicans and their alleged attempts in many states to disqualify voters ("Democracy depends on the right to vote"). According to him, this is because there is not enough concrete evidence of fraud to justify such actions.  The second piece is the one by Bruce Rushton outlining the litigation surrounding a vote count for Rochester Township road commissioner ("Stopping the steal").  The outcome was based on one vote that was unclear due to the status of a write-in on the ballot.

So, on the one hand, we have a claim of no solid evidence of widespread fraud and on the other, we have an election decided by a single vote.  Every vote counts, and even a little fraud could decide an election.  Certainly, every citizen should have their vote counted so long as they meet the basic requirements of who, where, when and how.  They must be who they say they are, they must be in the correct polling location, they must vote in the correct time frame and they must use the proper forms.  The questions appear to be centered around the "how" of the matter.  The devil is in the details of methods such as absentee ballots, drop-boxes, walk-ins and curbside pickup.

I seriously question methods such as people picking up ballots from others and delivering them to the election office; it would be easy to misplace a few on the way.  Clearly, some proposed methods are rife with possibilities for fraud. 

Dr. Soltys' strong suggestion that every attempt by any Republican to clarify the principles of voting is voter suppression needs serious reexamination.  Certainly, voting must be encouraged, but it cannot be done by increasing the chances for fraud.  After all, one vote counts.

 John Woodruff
Pleasant Plains

EXPLORING OAK RIDGE
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Bill Furry's article about Lillian Davis, whose portrait he found on her stone at Oak Ridge Cemetery ("Oak Ridge angels," March 25). My friend Linda Wheeland and I spend about five hours a week walking the cemetery, and we are continually amazed at the beauty and history we find on each of our walks.  We located Lillian's grave after reading the article, and we felt remiss that we had never noticed it. We loved the description of her photo and we thought the writing was excellent.

We did find the 160-year-old Osage orange tree; I was unfamiliar with it. My friend thought it was the one with big green balls, and I said no, that's a hedge apple.  Well, after we looked it up on Google, I found we were both correct. Thanks for the botany lesson, as well as the genealogical find.

Barbara Milman
Springfield

LEAVE ME IN THE COUNTY
Residents of Springfield should object to a land grab that will only put the city's budget further in the hole. More taxes will bring obligations for over 170 properties, which the city proposes to annex.  My neighbors and I live in Woodside Township and want to remain there.

But if annexed, for approximately every $300 of revenue received in taxes on a property like mine, the city will increase expenses by over $1,000 (fire protection, police calls, library use, road maintenance, etc.). This same scenario occurs every time a couple with children both go to work and discover the second paycheck has been consumed by child care, another car payment, and other costs.

City officials say that 911 has difficulty sorting out whether the city or county should respond in an emergency, but this is 2021.  Your phone reveals your GPS and their records show immediately where you live.

We selected residence in a township and county with a balanced budget, not a city with massive financial problems.

Ask your alderman to do the math – the truth is that these annexed properties will be a headache all around.

Jiffy Johnson
Sangamon County

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