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LETTER: In Defense of the Swarmers 

Gene Cox commented in his column, “Unprompted” that one reason to go to the polls is to be able to “spit at those who swarm us as we climb out of the car with their ‘informational’ flyers on the candidates.” He dismissed any importance to voting for the presidential candidates because they are “wildly unpopular.”

For a former newsman he is assuming a lot. Some people, like myself, are eager to vote for Hillary Clinton. She is easily uniquely and bountifully qualified for president. As someone who worked on a women’s pay scale, a woman president would be recognition of women’s capabilities that has eluded American women. Not so in other countries, embarrassingly. I, quite obviously, am not alone. And Donald Trump? How did he get this far without plenty of supporters?

Thankfully, in all the years and campaigns when I have been one of those dreaded swarmers, no one has ever spit at me. If Cox thinks swarmers like that job, he should have the task of trying to find people to work at the polls. 

Get up at 5 a.m. to get to the polls by 6? Put up signs? Hand out sample ballots to people who already know how they are voting? Take abuse from people like Cox? Stand there in cold, rain or heat for hours?

Guessing that, like me, most dislike finding the workers, and doing all the preparation, sample ballots, instructions, working at polls for hours and greeting people who don’t want to be greeted, then why do we go through this gyration at every election?

Because the other side will be there! There is no choice.

I understand a solution exists that Virginia would be wise to emulate. I have proposed it to many politicians without a taker. In Alabama, I am told by a native, swarmers at polls are against the law. You just go to the polls and vote. No one hands you a sample ballot, and no volunteers, like me, have to beg people to work at the polls where they stand a chance of being spit upon by Gene Cox.

Is rescue possible? Legislators, you could make it happen!

Nancy Finch
Richmond

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