Barry Saunders

If the living won’t vote, why not the dead? – Saunders

Does race play a part in the challenge to Durham vote count?

N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer, of Orange County, who spoke on behalf of the Roy Cooper campaign and Thomas Stark, general counsel for the NCGOP, speak to the issue of race in the controversy surrounding the Durham County vote count and the race for N.C. g
Up Next
N.C. Rep. Graig Meyer, of Orange County, who spoke on behalf of the Roy Cooper campaign and Thomas Stark, general counsel for the NCGOP, speak to the issue of race in the controversy surrounding the Durham County vote count and the race for N.C. g

Republicans who can’t accept that Gov. Pat McCrory appears to have lost his re-election bid when just about every candidate in the whole wide country with an R beside his or her name won are blaming his presumed loss on electoral hanky panky.

Among the culprits they’re blaming are felons, people from other states voting here, “malfeasance” and supposedly sketchy absentee ballots.

Most of those thus accused of voting irregularities can fend for themselves – can explain that their parole had ended, that they really did reside where they said they resided, can explain, if necessary, why they misspelled their own name on an absentee ballot. There is one group, though, that the governor’s gang is scapegoating that can’t speak for itself.

So I will.

Dead people. Yes, dead people are being vilified for voting in an election in which nearly half of living voters didn’t. There’s no real evidence of that, even though some Republican officials nebulously claim “something’s fishy” in counties that – whaddya know? – have large percentages of black voters.

Even if it were proven true that people are casting ballots from the great beyond, though, shouldn’t our response be “Big deal?” or an incredulous “Wow! That’s terrific”?

Dying is something we all will do, although, like Woody Allen, I hope not to be around when it happens. Many people feel all their earthly responsibilities are over once they croak, but what about those civic-minded stalwarts who feel otherwise? Should they forfeit the most basic tenet of democracy – the right to vote – simply because they’ve departed this mortal coil?

Anyone who cares enough to rise up out of their coffins, shake off the dirt from their burial raiments and cast a ballot should be emulated and lauded, not outlawed.

Besides, aren’t the prisons full enough already without us sentencing Papa Daddy to spend time behind bars for VWD – voting while dead?

Instead of criminalizing dead people who are still voting, we should be criminalizing live people who aren’t. Looking at various polling post mortems, it appears that as many as 48 percent of eligible voters didn’t bother to vote this month. That is more reprehensible than a few uber-committed dead people who may have voted.

Without them, poll watchers in some neighborhoods would have been as lonely as the Maytag repairman.

While Attorney General Roy Cooper is hoisting his victory flag and putting in place a transition team, Ricky Diaz, a spokesman for McCrory, said, “The real question people should be asking is, why is Roy Cooper fighting to count the votes of dead people and felons?”

If there is evidence to support that contention, the GOP representatives should bring it forward. So far, though, after two weeks of finetooth-combing the results, only two votes by dead people have been discovered and rejected in Wake County – and they both were alive when they cast absentee ballots but died before Election Day.

Such votes, incredibly, don’t count. They should, and if elected, I promise to ensure that the votes you cast before you die will count – as well as votes you cast after you die.

Here, then, is the Good Citizen’s prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep.

If I should die before I awake.

Cast my vote for the entire Democratic slate.

As I lay me down to nod

Here’s a request – don’t think it odd.

If I don’t wake up because I’ve croaked

Give the GOP candidate my write-in vote.

Amen.

Barry Saunders: 919-836-2811, @BarrySaunders9

 
Related stories from Raleigh News & Observer

  Comments