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LETTERS

Absentee-ballot counter offers window into process — something we could all use

Members of the Allegheny County Return Board process the remaining absentee and mail-in Allegheny County ballots on Nov. 12 in Pittsburgh.
Members of the Allegheny County Return Board process the remaining absentee and mail-in Allegheny County ballots on Nov. 12 in Pittsburgh.Steve Mellon/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP

Deep thanks to Margie Huoppi, whose Nov. 16 letter (“ ‘I was an absentee-ballot counter, and this is what I learned’ ”) told me more about the complex and reiterative process of counting absentee ballots than I’ve ever known before.

Perhaps the paranoia regarding accurate counts of votes, both now and in elections to come, could be tempered with a bit of basic education for all voters. What if each state and polling place prominently broadcast the steps of their counting processes? What if voter registration came with an explanatory sheet with a box at the bottom saying something like, “I have read the above information and understand how an absentee (or in-person, or mail-in) vote will be counted”?

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This innovation could also serve as recruitment for the sort of meticulous, fastidious, precise, scrupulous people we need and want as our poll workers. Here’s a shout-out to Huoppi and the many others who willingly embrace the highly regimented, repetitive, infinitely detail-oriented drudgery of vote-counting. Now we’re clued in to the glamorous part of the job: Locked suitcases! Checking serial numbers! Different keys for different parts of the ballot box? Who knew?

Lee Bluemel

North Andover