Saints preserve us, this is no way to run an election

Jerry Moore

You rank amateurs!

Permitting the mayoral race in the city of Watertown to end in a tie between two second-place candidates was shameful. If the democratic process had been “managed” effectively by savvy operatives, this never would have happened.

Jeffrey M. Smith will have to wait to see whom he’ll face in the general election in November. Challengers Allison I. Crossman and Cody J. Horbacz both wound up with 598 votes after the absentee, affidavit and write-in votes from the June 25 runoff were counted Monday at the Jefferson County Board of Elections.

In my hometown of Chicago, a tie would be unimaginable. Let’s be honest: Ties go best with suits, not elections. Such an outcome would never be tolerated.

We could have used a couple of experienced precinct captains who understood how to, let’s say, massage the results. You know, guys with names like Sean O’Donnelly and Don O’Shaughnessy — fine men from good families.

They’d get their marching orders from those on top. Word would come down about who needs to win specific races. Then it’s up to the neighborhood campaign organizations to figure out how to carry out these demands.

And the precinct captains would do whatever is necessary to accomplish these goals because there’s a lot at stake — their jobs, for one. They’re all on the city or county payroll or at private companies with government contracts. They can easily be reassigned to less desirable duties or find themselves out on the street if they don’t produce.

They wouldn’t question whom to support — these decisions would be made on the committee level. After all, elections are too important to be left up to voters! There’s no telling what could occur if people made their own choices.

So what are some ways to ensure your candidate wins? You could slip someone into the rival’s camp, a good organizer with lots of personality. He could rally support for the opponent and then arrange transportation to get the faithful to the polls.

And when he shows up with several vanloads of true believers, their ballots are placed in specially marked boxes. The final “ballot” placed in each container is a brick, and the boxes somehow find themselves sinking to the bottom of the Chicago River. These votes, therefore, will go to their watery grave rather than diminish the selected candidate’s odds at winning.

And speaking of cemeteries, why should a loyal committee member remove his name from the voting rolls just because he’s passed away? He had a good job in the building trades all his life, and his widow is being taken care of through his union pension now that he’s gone.

It simply doesn’t make any sense to allow his name to die with him. Someone else can take his place in line at the polling station to provide a guaranteed vote for the candidate of the committee’s choice — and then, of course, cast a proper ballot under his own name for the same person.

In some municipal regions, “Vote early and often” isn’t just a catchy political saying — it’s a moral imperative! Mind you, we don’t call Chicago “The city that works” for nothing.

Watertown can learn a thing or two about holding an election. I swear on a stack of deep dish pizzas, these methods will do the trick!

Jerry Moore is the editorial page editor for the Watertown Daily Times. Readers may call him at 315-661-2369 or send emails to jmoore@wdt.net.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment

JohnMcElroy

Bottom line, no graft in Watertown, NY's electoral processes.

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