BY SUZIE HAVEMANN
Democratic Candidate for
Los Alamos County Council
“Thank you for being here; it shows you care about our community and are civically engaged.”
This is how I have prefaced all my speaking opportunities during my campaign for County Council. My parents taught me the value of being informed, volunteering, and voting; therefore, civic engagement is important to me.
I think Los Alamos, the state of New Mexico, and our country are all better off when we all have the opportunity to participate in our governance. So, it concerns me that instead of working to make it easier for more people to be civically engaged, some are working to make it harder.
This concerns me because when doubt is cast on our election integrity, momentum builds to question the results of future elections. We have seen this across the country; in addition to the domestic attack at our Capitol and the attempt to subvert the peaceful transition of power, there have been threats to election workers, new laws and procedures to make voting harder versus easier, and a real possibility that election deniers could be our new decision makers in whether or not the will of the people will be honored.
In our democracy, the rule of law allows a candidate to challenge an election. The 2020 presidential election was challenged in the courts, with numerous audits, and with Secretaries of State and State Legislatures, etc. In dozens of cases and certifications, Joe Biden prevailed as the President-elect. The rule of law should also mean the challenger accepts those results. Likewise, in order to avoid constant conflict and polarization, the electorate at large must respect the outcomes of those challenges as well, i.e. respect the institutions and processes imbedded in our democracy.
Democracy should not be a partisan issue between Republicans and Democrats. I’d like to think we all value our democracy and could agree we have a role in supporting the electoral system that feeds it. We should encourage participation, support secure voting practices, and accept the outcomes of certified elections.
Thank you for reading this; it shows you care about our community and are civically engaged.