Wallingford’s latest awful, terrible, horrible crisis is … ballot boxes located inside — not outside — Town Hall. Based on recent articles, comments at the 7/14 Town Council meeting, and letters (R-J 7/19), virtually all complaints are from Democratic Town Committee members — people who I believe are incapable of agreeing with Mayor Dickinson on anything, anytime. One letter-writer’s histrionic attempt to stoke fear and anger read: “His own citizens are being put at risk because of his decisions” and goes so far as to claim “voter suppression.” Hilarious!
In today’s ultra-polarized and tumultuous political climate (thanks in part to a Twitter-happy president), I would not be surprised if someone were inclined to vandalize/tamper with outdoor ballot boxes.
If the boxes are inside, they can be secured and monitored. Town Hall is open and accessible during the day (no longer locked, as of Monday 7/20). There will not be a line of people, and it will only require walking about 20 steps into the building, depositing the ballot, and walking out. For those who can’t or don’t want to, the post office lobby is open 24/7 and the state is paying for postage.
If I were voting by absentee ballot, I would not deposit it into an outdoor, unmonitored receptacle of any kind. Other states have had instances of vandalized ballot boxes and postal collection boxes; damage to (and theft from) mail collection boxes has happened in Connecticut, too — including some located outside post offices and town halls. (R-J, 2/2/19, five outside mail collection boxes vandalized in Meriden).
The integrity of our elections is of utmost importance. As we see all too often, no computer system ever created is hacker-proof. Likewise, no collection box can be guaranteed entirely vandal-proof. Why risk putting those ballot boxes outdoors?
Patricia J. Kohl, Wallingford
Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy should support federal funding for cultured-meat research. For those unaware, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughtering animals.
It has the potential to eliminate unimaginable levels of nonhuman suffering from the food system.
Dr. Mark Post created the first cultured-beef hamburger in 2013. It cost a whopping $280,000. Soon, he thinks, that price could be reduced to $10.
Still, more research is required to make cultured meat economically viable. This is too important — and too urgent — to leave to the private sector. We need federal funding for cultured-meat research.
Jon Hochschartner, Granby