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Letters for Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Teachers should be a priority

As Hawai‘i prepares for the rollout of COVID vaccines, I’m wondering where teachers fall in the prioritizing process. I certainly agree that doctors and nurses should be at the top of the list, but where do those who have the future in their hands stand? Education especially for young, developing children is one of the key factors to address systemic inequalities. I appreciate the concern for kupuna like myself, but for the sake of my grandsons and their generation, I’d gladly give their teachers my place in line.

Suzanne Kashiwaeda, Kalaheo

Election of the people, by the people

The usual situation for a claim of election fraud is a candidate who was leading going into the election, but the announced results favor the other candidate and are at odds with the polls. Say, like 2016. Usually when fraud occurs the results are so different from the polls and exit interviews that it is hard to believe the votes were counted fairly; in the most notable cases, the announced votes for the unpopular candidate were in the landslide or unanimous range.

In 2020, Trump claims an election was stolen, especially in the swing states, and that there was massive fraud. However, in the Nov. 1 polls, Biden was leading nationwide in every single poll, overall (compiling the polls) by 51.8% to 43.4%. So the national outcome was consistent with the polls, although Trump did better (as in 2016) in the voting than in the polls.

The situation in the swing states — in which Trump and his cult claim votes were altered — is much the same. The Nov. 1 polls (overall) in Arizona had Biden carrying the state narrowly, 48.4% to 45.8%. So, no surprise that Biden won here. Georgia: 48.4% Biden, 46.8% Trump on Nov. 1; a Biden victory is thus no surprise. Pennsylvania: 50.2% Biden, 45.6% Trump; again, no surprise or suggestion of fraud in a Biden victory. Wisconsin: 51.9% Biden, 44.0% Trump in the Nov. 1 polls; end result consistent with the polls. Michigan: 51.2% Biden, 47.1% Trump in the polls; again, no surprise that Biden won narrowly.

While polls are not always accurate predictors, and usually understate the Trump vote because many are reluctant to admit they support Trump, it is generally an affirmation of a fair election when the outcome virtually mirrors the polls. It is a contradiction of fraud. That’s 2020.

Trump now in his court cases, having been rebuffed on his claims of actual fraud for lack of proof (and validation of the results even by his sycophantic attorney general), is reduced to arguing that election rules were changed improperly. That is: yes, the votes cast by eligible voters were accurately counted, but technical errors in how changes were made to cope with COVID-19 surges meant the specifics of voting violated state laws.

This is, in effect, a claim that by even though he lost overall by more than 7 million votes, and the voters in the swing states actually did prefer Biden, Trump should be declared president. Go figure what this has to do with democracy or the “of the people, by the people.”

Jed Somit, Kapa’a
Source: The Garden Island

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