Public servants preserve our liberty

Published 11:09am Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dear Editor,

One week after the March 13 primary election, the political parties and election officials still had work to do. By statute, Alabamians who voted provisional ballots have their votes considered at that time.

Depending on the deficiency — typically a lack of proper identification presented at the polling place — the provisional ballot voter has seven days to submit such verification in order for their vote to be counted.

As Republican chairman in Shelby County, it was my duty, along with GOP Secretary Andrew Plaster, to be present and assist with the tabulation of those votes. It was while fulfilling that obligation that I was once again reminded of the care, protection and dignity afforded each vote.

A total of 31 provisional ballots were cast, 25 of which were validated. Of those, 24 were Republican ballots and only one was a Democrat ballot.

Sheriff Chris Curry, along with Captain Chris Corbell and Krissi Masters from his office, Circuit Clerk Mary Harris, probate office staff Kim Melton, Suzanne Smith and Charity Hogg, and members of the Board of Registrars Carol Hill and Kelli Moore were parties to this proceeding.

It occurred to me that I was not merely watching a numerical tabulation, but something far more significant and fundamental.

I was observing diligent, dutiful and honorable public servants as they protected the essence of liberty with sanctity and worth.

While my position obligated me to be concerned primarily with the GOP ballots, it was the care given that lone Democratic ballot that reminded me of the deep appreciation I hold for each of these individuals by whom such integrity and professionalism is demonstrated.

My most profound impression is the assurance provided by a handful of our Shelby County public stewards who, in relative obscurity, preserve that liberty, one vote at a time.

Freddy Ard

Chairman

Shelby County GOP

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