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Opinion: Politics in polling places

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

This sage advice has served me well all my adult life.

Unfortunately, it’s something politicians seem unable to comprehend. Take, for example, the new voter sticker one gets after voting.

The earlier one simply said, “I Voted.” Elegant in its simplicity, this clear statement served two purposes.

It proclaimed that the wearer believed in and exercised the precious right we Americans have to vote.

It was also a reminder for those who saw it to do the same.

Now, reflect on the “new and improved” sticker designed by either our Legislature or The Secretary of State.

It now says, “I Secured My Vote.”

In the first place, it’s a false statement. Securing my vote is nothing I did. It’s the responsibility of the two previously mentioned entities.

However, the greater concern for Georgians should be that this new sticker is, almost certainly, a partisan political statement.

While every Georgian should recognize the importance of casting a vote that is secure, “Securing the Vote” has become a clarion call of one political party and, as such, has no place in polling locations.

We go to great lengths to ensure that no candidate’s sign or other political statement is within 150 feet of any polling location, or 25 feet of any voter standing in line. Our legislature recently, fearing partisan influence, even went so far as to make it a crime to offer water to those standing in long lines. Why is it not also a crime to offer this partisan sticker to those who vote?

I urge the responsible powers to return to us the neutral and time-tested, “I Voted.”

Mike Freeman