Letters to the Editor


Voter fraud nearly nonexistent
Contrary to Mr. Haney’s letter, David Toscano (D-Charlottesville), Virginia house minority leader, is right.  Voter fraud is nearly nonexistent. Don’t believe Mr. Toscano?  Read  “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” a report issued by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School, which reviewed elections that had been meticulously studied for voter fraud and found incident  rates between 0.00004 percent and 0.0009 percent. The Brennan Center is a nonpartisan law and policy institute. Or look at studies published by Columbia University, the Washington Post and Arizona State University, among others, which came to the same conclusion – voter fraud is nearly nonexistent.

If studies don’t convince you, look at court decisions. The Fifth Circuit, in an opinion finding that Texas’s strict photo ID law is racially discriminatory, noted that there were only two convictions for in-person impersonation fraud out of 20 million votes cast in the decade before Texas passed the law.  In an opinion striking down North Carolina’s restrictive election law, the Fourth Circuit noted that the state failed to identify a single individual who had ever been charged with committing in-person fraud. The Supreme Court, in its opinion in Crawford, found no evidence of impersonation fraud in Indiana at any time in its history.

The definition of voter fraud is specific: an individual casts a ballot despite knowing that they are ineligible to vote in an attempt to defraud the election system. Since this almost never happens, why do so many people feel voter fraud is rampant? One explanation is that other forms of election misconduct or irregularities are listed under the catchall of voter fraud, such as technical glitches or honest mistakes. There are some not-so-honest mistakes, such as fraudulent voter registration applications, but these do not constitute in-person voter fraud and fraudulent votes are not being cast.  The studies and the courts have spoken.

Promoting the idea that voter fraud is rampant shakes the very foundation of our democracy and justifies in many citizens’ minds that there is a need for restrictive laws that do nothing but disenfranchise potential voters.

Maggie and Michael Hoover

Is Clinton really the best we have?
I am not a great fan of Donald Trump, but let’s take a look at his “worthy” opponent Hillary Clinton.

When running against President Obama she ran an ad supposedly showing a phone ringing in the White House at 3 a.m. with no one picking it up. It really happened, except it was her phone when she was Secretary of State during the Benghazi incident. She dithered and abandoned U.S. government personnel to their fate. She not only didn’t authorize anyone to do anything but actually stopped any attempt to launch a rescue. Unless CIA contractors had disobeyed orders the result would have been worse. Then she lied to the face of surviving family members while passing the truth on to her daughter as to the cause of the attack and who was responsible. It takes a cold, calculating and evil heart to lie to the face of surviving mothers and fathers. Do we want her for commander-in-chief of our armed forces?

She claims to be women’s big champion. I bet that came as a shock to the women her husband has sexually assaulted over the years just to become the target of smear campaign run by Hillary. She says she will get equal pay for women but fails to do so for women working for her and in the Clinton Foundation. She has received large donations from Middle Eastern countries who routinely abuse women.

She has perpetrated numerous felonies regarding mishandling classified information without any consequences. Men died as a result. Others are jailed for far less. During the third debate she blurted out the response time for our forces to respond to a presidential launch order. Do you want her handling our most sensitive secrets?

Her campaign is caught on tape organizing infiltration of Trump rallies to stir up trouble and violence, sometimes using the mentally disadvantaged and homeless.

If you vote for her be careful, our country may take decades to recover.

Bob Talbott

Candidates set tone
Earlier this year Donald Trump made this statement at a rally: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” As only one of countless careless comments Trump has made, it demonstrates his version of crackpot conservatism and descent into ideological psychosis. Candidates and elected officials alike set the tone for policy, activism and even the response of individuals.

When someone stands in front of an office for hours clearly displaying their gun, such an act goes beyond disrespect. It is clearly meant to threaten and intimidate. The right to own guns refers to hunting and personal defense. This right does not include robbing a bank or intimidating a lone person inside an office. Calling 911 was an appropriate response. Republican candidate Tom Garrett’s failure to see this point is thoughtless and irresponsible.

Julius Neelley
Lake Monticello

A different look at Papa Jim’s
Regarding last week’s article about how Fluvanna has been treating Mr. Toms’ business, in 2011 I was on the Board that heard the appeal to display his sign.

The audio of that meeting is available on Fluvanna’s website under Nov. 2. The applicable sections are public comment, then during the last half hour.

  • Toms said “They approved everything,” his “large sign in the front.” Some facts from that meeting:
  • Toms said: “I understand the sign ordinance for Fluvanna,” and “I’m trying to get an amendment.”

I assumed he knew his sign was out of compliance.

  • Toms said: “I’ve been told by the Planning Commission that my only option is to put my sign underneath the Troy Market sign,” and “The lady there does not want my sign on her sign,” referring to the monument sign at the front.

Fluvanna’s attorney said, “If the landlord puts conditions on the property that make it less attractive as a business, it’s not the county’s business to renegotiate the terms of that lease,” and “A typical commercial lease addresses these issues.”

  • Toms said his sign was “in a proposed site that was passed on my survey.”

Planning Director Darren Coffey said, “The site plan amendment that was done did have a sign location proposed on it. Well, signage isn’t done through the site plan process, it’s done through a sign permitting process.”

Coffey clarified that policy would not allow variance for Mr. Toms alone, that any changes would require change in county sign ordinances.
It seemed clear, the sign was not approved.

Regarding transporting his building to Louisa, the Virginia Department of Transportation mandates the same setbacks. If the business is moved to a Zion Crossroads strip built for retail, I hear they are charging more than $20 per square foot with the centers around Food Lion around $14.

I’ve heard it said that Fluvanna is not friendly to business. I’ve owned businesses and remodeled commercial buildings along Route 15, receiving no push back. I’ve seen other businesses thrive that worked within ordinances that protect property values and our great way of life. I feel Fluvanna is a great place to do business.

Chris Fairchild
Lake Monticello

Thank you
Last week we ate at IHOP at Zion Crossroads. Just as our dinner was almost over the waiter came to our table and told us that someone had paid our check. The people had told the waiter we reminded them of their grandparents. They left before we could thank them. We are hoping they will read this note in the paper and accept our sincere thanks for a nice dinner. It was very kind and thoughtful of them. So again, we say thank you.

Bob and Flo Strohmayer
Lake Monticello

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