Love letter to Rockwall County voters of all stripes

Here is the text of a letter I submitted to the Rockwall Herald-Banner, which was not published.

 

Dear fellow Rockwallians,

 

As candidate signs start popping up on the sides of main roads and on private lawns around the county, the atmosphere can feel a little tense at times – you don’t necessarily want to know how your neighbor plans to vote.

 

For the ten years I have lived in the county, though, things have remained mostly civil – and that’s the way I want it to be. I was a little taken aback, therefore, when Ken Paxton, the Texas Attorney General, issued an opinion that election judges should be allowed to carry a weapon to the polls. Why? We do not live at the edge of civilization. If there is a problem of any kind, our friendly police officers are on the scene quickly, and they often come and visit the polls to check for signs of trouble. The act of voting itself is a celebration of democracy, a sign that we care, that we are all in this together. We may disagree about the direction the country is taking, but we want what is best for the UNITED States, for the State of Texas, and for our neighbors in it. We cannot fear going to the polls, or be intimidated into staying home. In Rockwall County many vote in churches or schools, where weapons are generally not allowed anyway, so the AG’s opinion creates confusion where things were clear before.

 

And in case you are entertaining visions of proud, rugged cowboys and prairie queens manning the polls, let me tell you that, at 61, I am among the spring chickens of election judges. I guess I could carry a weapon to the polls, but again, why? The only thing I intend to shoot at anyone is a friendly smile and a warm welcome.

 

Love, Y’all,

 

“Not quite Calamity” Marie-Anne Schiffmann

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