Nov. 11, 2020
To The Community:
We have a new President.
Across the country, spontaneous dance parties were held as supporters waved American and BIDEN/HARRIS flags and jumped for joy. History was made as the first Black female Vice President was chosen, and those who worked to elect the BIDEN/HARRIS team, from Georgia’s Stacey Abrams to Unite Here Philadelphia, took a moment to savor the win. Elated Bronxville supporters held a dance party in front of Village Hall with drivers beeping their support.
No one can deny that these past four years have been turbulent, and after the acrimonious election of 2016, across the country, countless organizations sprang up to educate and engage voters as never before. The results? The highest turnout in US history! I think back to MTV’s Rock the Vote campaign and the perennial search for young voters. Young voters have been found. Young voters are working the polls, they are working on campaigns, they are paying attention to issues, and they are voting. It’s a dream come true for those who search for ways to engage American citizens in their own governance.
Unseating an incumbent is difficult. I know; I did it in 2019. For me, it took non-stop effort in voter outreach, fundraising, and hundreds of volunteer hours to accomplish what was thought to be impossible. Since I have been elected, a clear change has been seen: I take the job of county legislator extremely seriously, and I am both honored and driven to work for the people I represent.
The results of my race were not confirmed until two weeks after the polls closed. That remains true right now for New York candidates—we don’t know yet the results of many local races. Absentee ballot counts are not started until after 7 days have passed to allow for overseas ballots and others that have been mailed in a timely fashion to reach the Board. We have days more to wait due to unprecedented numbers of absentee ballots.
I salute all the election workers who worked late hours in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere in the bright lights of national and international attention. Very soon, our election workers, too, will begin the painstaking process of verifying and opening ballots. Voter fraud is extremely rare, according to the Heritage Foundation’s website, listing 21 New York convictions since 1983—nearly 40 years of elections. Still, there are systems in place to verify every vote. More prevalent is voter suppression, with polling locations closed in urban areas across the country or confusing or incorrect mailings sent to voters.
It’s good we voted. The role of government in our lives couldn’t be more important right now. We have work to do to control the COVID-19 pandemic, to transition to clean and renewable energy, to lessen the impact of systemic racism in our courts, our hospitals, and our housing. Bi-partisan efforts to make our communities safe and clean will be our top priority.
I am inspired to be part of the effort in White Plains, and I am so proud of the choice we have made.
Ruth Walter, Westchester County Legislator, District 15
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