Letter: The calm, not the storm

Although much has been written about the overly zealous candidates in Hampton district during the past election, we would like to comment on the calm, not the storm.

The members of the Rappahannock County Electoral Board, appointed by the circuit court, want you, the electorate, to know that you are in good hands.

The three-member electoral team, made up of members of the two major political parties, serve all year, for three-year terms, learning new laws, going to seminars, meeting with the registrar of voters on a continual basis, training election officials, programming voting machines and insuring “failsafe” measures for votes cast, and tabulating and certifying votes from all our precincts the days following the election (officially called “canvassing”).

Yes, it is true, we were called to offer some muscle when crowds hampered voters at an impeded entrance to the polling place, however most of the time we rely on our brains, not our brawn.

Voting is a very regimented process. The Virginia legislature and Department of Elections governs everything that we do. Nothing is left to chance. From choosing new voting equipment to hiring the director of elections (the registrar), our job is specific and spelled out in every detail. No matter how rough it gets at the polling places, our eyes are strictly on the sanctity of the vote. It does not matter who wins, just that the process is 100 percent transparent and the final results delivered without fault.

Luckily, in Rappahannock County, we have Kim McKiernan, the dedicated and very able director of elections, to implement every law and organize the overwhelming amount of time-consuming paperwork and computer processes needed to keep our county voting smoothly. While the Rappahannock County Registrar’s office is one of the few in the state operating on a part-time basis, Kim accomplishes five days of work in three. No easy feat.

If you have a moment, we urge you to stop by the registrar’s office and tell Kim, “Job well done.” And we also urge you to become an election official, or ask your political party how to become a member of the electoral board. Although every once in a while the road is rocky, nothing is more satisfying than knowing how well our system of democracy works, from the inside out.

Looking forward to a calm, smooth 2016 election. Please join our forces.

The Rappahannock County Electoral Board
Denise Chandler, chair
Alma Viator, vice chair
Hurley Smith, secretary

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