In last week’s election of Southampton Village trustees, a lawyer used the word “fraud” in objecting to an absentee ballot cast by a resident of a large nursing home [“McLoughlin, Arresta Victors In Southampton Village Board Race Marked By Unprecedented Voter Turnout,” 27east.com, September 15]. A better word would have been “disgrace.”
For many years, candidates in our village elections have solicited absentee ballots from nursing home residents. Even if this is technically legal, it doesn’t mean that it’s an appropriate or decent thing to do. It’s not. Taking advantage of people in nursing homes just shouldn’t be done — especially by someone seeking a position of public trust in the village.
Of course, nursing home residents should vote in village elections if they want to do so. And if they need help in order to vote, they should get it from family or friends, but not from on-the-make politicians.
I hope that candidates in future elections will pledge not to exploit nursing home residents for their votes, and that the management of nursing homes in the village will protect their residents from this type of abuse in the future.
The recent election was marred by misinformation, attack ads and just plain nastiness. And governance of our village in the last year has been a saga of pettiness and grievance.
To the mayor and everyone else involved in the administration of our village: Please stop the reality show, lower the volume and just do your jobs.
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