Article Comment 

Voting concerns

 

 

Having lived away from Columbus and Lowndes county for many years and recently returned, I find it interesting to see the intensity of emotions and unequivocal stands taken for the election of local leaders here.  

 


In the recent primary election I had the pleasant opportunity to be appointed a "poll watcher" at one of our smaller polling stations. The officials in attendance were dedicated and concerned people struggling to ensure a fair election. However, one incident that caught my attention still amazes me. This was the appearance of a young man who gave his name and address and said he had voted at that precinct regularly and was present to vote. His name was not on the list at the polling place.  

 


As instructed, the attendant called "voters'' headquarters" to see if his name and address were on file as a registered voter. She learned that the name and address given were on file. As per her instructions, the young man was told that he must "vote by affidavit" and so he proceeded to fill out the forms to do so. 

 


He handed back the duly completed form, and to my great amazement, he was not asked to positively identify himself. Was he really the person he said he was? Could he have been someone else who knew that the real person would not appear for any number of reasons: deceased, away, or somehow unable to come to the poll to vote?  

 


Moreover, I have heard from other poll watchers about minivans full of people that appeared at other polls, and of many affidavit votes that were thus processed. 

 


The absence of verification strikes me as strange. I see here a way whereby the free and fair election process could easily be compromised. Certainly everyone qualified to vote should have the opportunity to do so. However, a process of individual verification should be in place to assure that voting is properly administered.  

 


 

 


Claude Simpson 

 


Columbus 

 


 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment jack mercer commented at 5/11/2009 1:10:00 PM:

I would like the mayor to tell us why he is afraid to debate Thom Geiger one on one. In a real ol fashioned no holes barred bebate. These debates I heard the same thing last time. Flooding,Money problems. Nothing seems to be getting done. . You all talked a good game but did nothing at all. Mr. Mayor The citizens of Columbus need and want this debate, or are you scared.

 

Article Comment debug commented at 5/11/2009 4:25:00 PM:

I don't understand why people think that photo id is an infringement of their rights. After all, if you want to drive a car legally or drink alcohol in the state of MS, you have to show proof of who you are. Could it be that they are afraid of getting caught doing something illegal?????

 

Article Comment bill bruford commented at 5/12/2009 7:04:00 PM:

Mr. Mercer,
Could it be that Mr. Geiger only got around 14 votes when he ran for council several years ago? If his own ward doesn't support him how can he be considered a viable?

 

Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 5/15/2009 1:29:00 PM:

Mr. Bruford, you're still smarting from my one or two posts on Starkville-now.com, are you?
I choose not to involve myself in politics in Starkville, so my message(s) on SN was about the fact that Birney and Steve have been involved in the attempt to get a debate running between Cox and Wiseman, but both have ignored the voters in Columbus with the excuse that there is no interest here in a mayoral debate. No polls, no stats, just their claims. I think any poll results would surprise everyone, but I doubt those results would be welcomed and definitely wouldn't change either gentleman's opinion.
Those voters I have spoken to have no doubts about who Mr. Rogers and Mr. Imes support in the election. History bears out a heavy pro-democratic party leaning by both. I am running as an Independent.
As involved as you are in Starkville politics, I'd hope for better fact checking. I received 60 votes, not 14. See this screenshot for verification;
http://www.mycolumbus.net/citycandidates/results/60a.jpg
That was without the yard signs and retail campaigning you mention often on SN. Just word of mouth and some door knocking. I have also never asked for, nor received a penny during any election campaign in my life. That might cost me some votes or an election, but I detest the carnival and money-changer atmosphere of local politics, so I choose to not contribute to a system I disagree with. If the average citizen can't make a go of it and run successfully for public office, without spending thousands of dollars or accepting favors from special interests, then I'll settle for what I can get. If that makes me not a "viable" candidate, then so be it, but I fail to see how that would make my platform any less pertinent to the wants and needs of city voters than the incumbent's.

Thom Geiger

 

Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 5/15/2009 2:18:00 PM:

Mr. Bruford, you're still smarting from my one or two posts on Starkville-now.com, are you?
I choose not to involve myself in politics in Starkville, so my message(s) on SN was about the fact that Birney and Steve have been involved in the attempt to get a debate running between Cox and Wiseman, but both have ignored the voters in Columbus with the excuse that there is no interest here in a mayoral debate. No polls, no stats, just their claims. I think any poll results would surprise everyone, but I doubt those results would be welcomed and definitely wouldn't change either gentleman's opinion.
Those voters I have spoken to have no doubts about who Mr. Rogers and Mr. Imes support in the election. History bears out a heavy pro-democratic party leaning by both. I am running as an Independent.
As involved as you are in Starkville politics, I'd hope for better fact checking. I received 60 votes, not 14. See this screenshot for verification;
http://www.mycolumbus.net/citycandidates/results/60a.jpg
That was without the yard signs and retail campaigning you mention often on SN. Just word of mouth and some door knocking. I have also never asked for, nor received a penny during any election campaign in my life. That might cost me some votes or an election, but I detest the carnival and money-changer atmosphere of local politics, so I choose to not contribute to a system I disagree with. If the average citizen can't make a go of it and run successfully for public office, without spending thousands of dollars or accepting favors from special interests, then I'll settle for what I can get. If that makes me not a "viable" candidate, then so be it, but I fail to see how that would make my platform any less pertinent to the wants and needs of city voters than the incumbent's.

Thom Geiger

 

Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 5/15/2009 2:22:00 PM:

FYI for other readers using Microsoft Internet Explorer- if you leave the page open after posting a comment, then hit your browser 'Refresh' button, it will cause a double comment submission.

 

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