Don’t be suckered by the nonsense that the presidential election was rigged by Democrats.
In most states, the secretary of state is the chief election officer. In others, most top election officers are elected. Today, most secretaries of state and state election directors are Republicans.
For 13 years, I was Oklahoma’s chief election officer and in 2001, after Bush v. Gore, was asked to co-chair a national committee of election officials — half Republican, half Democratic — to develop recommendations to improve elections.
My co-chair was a Republican elected county clerk from Salem, Oregon.
For months, 50 or so of us met in various states to identify, dissect and recommend changes. No subject was too small or too large, and none was too hot or hard.
Our discussions were civil and respectful. I don’t recall a single raised voice or angry retort.
Partisanship was not visible. I could not have told you who was a D or R.
Those people wanted good elections with integrity. Many of us became and remained friends. A few years later, my wife and I had dinner in Oregon with my co-chair and his family.
In my experience with officials responsible for conducting elections, I cannot recall a single instance of conduct or a decision based on partisanship.
Election officials want everyone to vote and for everyone to have confidence in the result.
I try to shrug off attacks on our election system as passionate, but I’m not successful. It offends me.
Lance Ward, Norman
Editor's Note: Lance Ward was secretary of the Oklahoma Election Board 1988-2001.
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