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Guest Opinion

Tuesday’s poll workers were guided by patriotism, not party


As most Americans do, I love our democracy. So I volunteered to help voters on Tuesday’s primary by being a poll greeter.

Republicans and Democrats who came to vote were all in a good mood on this bright sunny day. Everyone smiled and exchanged pleasantries about the weather and the early hour.

The judge of elections came outside to see how things were going. He struck me as a person of fine character who was willing to work over 12 hours that day to ensure everything went smoothly for all voters and that all votes were counted correctly and reported honestly.

I felt proud to see so many eagerly participating in American democracy.

After my shift, I drove past a “Donald Trump for President” lawn sign. When I came home, there was television coverage of our former president’s criminal trial. He has been indicted for falsifying business records with respect to an alleged affair with a porn star in an attempt to illegally influence the 2016 election.

David Pecker of the tabloid National Enquirer had testified under oath that morning and spoke of his collusion with Donald Trump in generating outrageous baseless stories about his Republican competitors Ted Cruz and Ben Carson.

I found it ironic that the man who has repeatedly accused respected fact-based journalists of generating “fake news” has been caught in a court of law to have been himself generating fake news, not to inform voters, but to smear his competitors with lies in his pursuit of his own power.

Trump’s Big Lie was an insult to all the dedicated Republican and Democratic poll workers who work long hours on Election Day to ensure a free and fair election. As a resident of Pennsylvania, I realize his evidence-free Big Lie meant that he was trying to negate thousands of votes for Joe Biden in 2020.

All these behaviors again show a profound disdain for our beloved democracy.

I plead with my fellow American Republicans to find a presidential candidate with a true love and respect for our democracy.

There is still time at the Republican National Convention to choose a Republican leader who would not spread lies about opponents. There is still time to find a Republican candidate who will not resort to baseless lies in defeat or reject a peaceful transfer of power, a cornerstone of our democracy. Republican leaders need to show courage and stand firm in defending our democracy just as Republican senators did when Richard Nixon’s misdeeds were exposed.

There are many other fine Republican candidates of character who deserve a chance for the presidency.

I returned to the polls for another shift in the evening. The sun was setting, but voters were still coming to participate in our great democracy.

Inside I saw so many Democrats and Republicans working together side by side ensuring a free and fair election. I think we owe it to the American people of all parties to ensure we elect leaders who will not destroy our democracy with lies and frivolous claims of theft.

We need leaders who will champion and strengthen our democracy. In that way, together, we will honor the hardworking poll workers and the passionate voters of all parties who eagerly come to vote in our elections because they love our shared precious American democracy.

Steve Cickay lives in Newtown.

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