Letter to the Editor: The citizens need to speak up

Published 8:10 pm Thursday, February 9, 2023

Dear Editor, 

I would like to respond to a recent letter to the editor in The Farmville Herald regarding the appeal for civility and respect by those in attendance at Buckingham County Electoral Board meetings. Let me be clear: I am all for civility and respect, but I want to set the record straight on a few points. 

I was in attendance at the Jan. 17 Electoral Board meeting. The room was packed. No one was disrespectful. They were upset, but they did not get out of control. People were upset because the two minute time limit for public comment had been waived at the Jan. 4 meeting to allow speakers to make accusations of fraud in the November election, including the naming of individuals. However, at the Jan. 17 meeting, when many people came prepared to refute these allegations, public comment was not on the agenda.

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When a motion was made to revise the agenda to include public comment, the motion was voted down by a partisan vote. And let me be very clear: I am well aware that public comment at an Electoral Board meeting is not guaranteed. But again, no one got out of hand. A sheriff’s deputy was present, but he never had to intervene.

I urge everyone to go to the YouTube video of the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 9 and observe the great civility and respect shown to the supervisors; time stop 44.30.

We are better than this. We can disagree on goals, tactics and timing. We do not need to engage in intimidation, harassment and vitriol. We can be passionate but not disrespectful in our comments. If you want to preserve a fair and functioning electoral system in this county, the citizens of Buckingham County must speak up.

And I think that is exactly what we are doing. Citizens are lining up to attend Electoral Board meetings in unprecedented numbers and speaking up regarding their concerns. That is the epitome of good democracy.

Maggie Snoddy