The issue of whether Ramseur’s election polls should remain at the municipal building or be moved to a more accessible location is not settled yet. The Board of Elections will meet again on September 10, and hopefully render a decision at that time.
On August 24, long time Ramseur polling official, Ray Albright, had a letter to the editor published in the print edition (August 26, online edition) of the Asheboro Courier-Tribune, defending the current location. I have re-printed his letter in full below.
Just when I thought things could not get any worse in our small, (used to be) friendly town of Ramseur, it has!
For the life of me, I can’t understand how the governing body (and a few of our citizens) have become so full of hate (a terrible word but applies here) that they can’t seem to function in a normal, civil way.
Accusations, name calling and just plain nasty comments (not even acceptable at the junior high school level) have become the norm for many in our town, “Where friends and family meet.”
“Social” media, including Facebook, emails and even personal websites, have all been used to keep the “nasty pot” stirred. None of these do anything to heal the division in our town. In fact, just the opposite.
The last fiasco is the hare-brained idea (or I and many other citizens surely think so) to move our polling place from the town hall to another location. Our town hall has been the voting location for Ramseur’s Precinct # 31 for well over 25 years. It is a great venue with plenty of room, and adequate parking (although this was one of the many weak reasons for moving it). If this were to occur, I think this would be a deterrent for the voters. Maybe that’s what this is all about, you think?
Three churches that have been approached about using their locations have said “No.” Separation of church and state? Possibly, but I rather suspect they do not want to become involved in this situation. I mean it’s hard to get up on Sunday morning and advocate “loving your enemies, doing good to those who persecute you, love your neighbor as yourself,” with what’s going on in our town.
So once again, I call on all our citizens to “bury the hatchet” (if you have one), and let’s get on with doing what is best for the Town of Ramseur.
Ray Albright, Ramseur
Mr. Albright is, of course, entitled to his opinion. I ran into Ray at the local grocery store one day last week, and we had a brief but incomplete discussion of the issue.
He seemed to be of the opinion that those of us who favor moving the polling place away from the municipal building are attacking his character and that of the other dedicated poll workers who make our elections possible. I told him, as I tell you now, nothing could be further from the truth.
I also asked Mr. Albright if he had read much of what I have published here over the past eight months, which now totals nearly one hundred articles. He said he had tried to but could not see any complete articles. I tried to explain to him how the front page is set up; how readers can click on the headline of each article or the “read more” links to see the each post on a page by itself.
At that point my phone began ringing. As a self-employed individual if I don’t answer my phone I lose business, so the conversation ended there.
Mr. Albright’s difficulty in reading this website is symptomatic of a larger issue in Ramseur and the nation at-large: many of our elders do not understand this technology well enough to fully utilize it. My own mother and my in-laws have the same problem.
If you know Mr. Albright or any other members of our community who suffer from this disadvantage, please help them by either printing copies of these posts for them, or pay them a visit and teach them how to use this website.
This morning, September 1, my response to Mr. Albright’s letter was published in the Courier-Tribune. It is reproduced below. Thanks for caring enough about your community to read some of what I’ve posted here, even if you disagree.
I have spent over three hundred hours writing, editing videos, and maintaining this website since last December. This is a labor of love, regardless of what my detractors might tell you.
In his letter, ”‘Hare-brained’ idea latest fiasco in Ramseur,” Ray Albright accused members of our community of spreading division. He accused those lobbying to have our polling site moved away from the municipal building of trying to confuse voters. He is mistaken.
According to Melissa Johnson, director of elections for Randolph County, the Ramseur Municipal Building is less than ideal. It may have been a good choice once, but nothing in life is permanent. Everything changes.
In most places campaigners must remain 50 feet from entrances to the polls, but not in Ramseur. Here the 50-foot rule places them in Liberty Street or the parking lot of Jordan Memorial UMC.
Mr. Albright claims there is plenty of parking at the municipal building, but that is untrue. There is a parking lot across Liberty Street. A low wall around it creates a dangerous trip hazard, especially for elders.
Behind the municipal building the only available parking on election day is at Jordan Memorial. That lot is on a slope, requiring voters to walk around another low wall to reach the polls. Why is this more acceptable than finding a location with better parking and safer access?
Mr. Albright said three churches have refused to allow the Board of Elections to use their facilities. One of them, First Christian Church, was considered for an early voting site in 2018. It’s my understanding that church leaders were willing to participate back then. What changed?
This has nothing to do with avoiding local politics or a separation of church and state. It’s about a handful of good old boys who are terrified that new leaders might soon control our governing board.
Mr. Albright also stated that people using social media and “personal websites” are trying to divide our town. I disagree. Please visit RamseurWatchdog.com and see for yourself.
Elections should not be held where elected officials work every day. Moving Ramseur’s polling place to a neutral, more accessible location is not about anyone running for office this year. It’s about doing what’s right for our community.
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