Opinion

What does it mean to call an election?

Posted

It’s time for a few housecleaning items.

There are some things of late that require a little attention and clarification. The first thing I want to address is the poll question we ran two weeks ago asking how people felt about the direction of our country now that the presidential election is over. Judging by nearly every comment left on our Facebook post, many people here either did not understand the question or how the elections work.

Most commenters blasted us for “calling” the election because President Donald Trump is still challenging the counts and the voting process in several key states. First of all, The Sealy News never called the election. To do so we would have had to have named a winner, which we did not. The election was over in that Election Day had passed and the polls were closed. No one can vote in the election anymore.

Secondly, it is the tradition of the media to call an election. That has always been the case. Please understand the difference between calling an election and confirming one. The press calls an election when it is clear one of the candidates has enough votes to win. An election is confirmed after it is properly canvassed and all votes tallied. In nearly every case, the election night results closely mirror the canvassed results. There may be variation in the numbers but rarely enough to overturn anything.

No, the press does not formally or officially confirm the winner by calling a race, the government does that. As always, the press reports those results. As of press time, that process was still going on.

Letters to the editor

As many readers know, we have been running a lot of letters to the editor by a particular individual who has been hypercritical of city government, particularly the Sealy EDC. These letters have contained numerous factual errors and innuendo of illegal or inappropriate behavior by city employees.

I have run these letters out of a desire to not quash anyone’s opinion or desire to speak freely. This will no longer be the case. We have published guidelines regarding letters to the editor which can be seen at the bottom of this page. If we see any factual errors or potentially libelous information, we will not publish the letter, or we may do so by either editing it or having the writer make corrections.

I apologize to anyone who has been inconvenienced by publication of previous letters.

Holiday precautions

As has been the case most of this year, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way things are being done. We are doing our best to move forward with holiday activities while at the same time being safe and trying to protect the health of everyone involved.

The Angel Tree will go up soon and that requires people coming to our office to pick up ornaments and buying and returning gifts for seniors in local retirement homes. Please trust that we are doing our best to make sure the virus is not transmitted in any way during this process. We do ask that people coming to the office be masked. We will minimize handling the ornaments and gifts as much as possible and also sanitizing as best we can.

Unfortunately there will not be a large party at Tony’s Family Restaurant for the residents of The Oaks and Silver Lake retirement communities due to pandemic restrictions. Rest assured that the seniors will get their gifts in the safest possible way.

The same goes for the handling of the coloring pages for our annual wrapping paper. We ask that those submitting colored pictures to do their best to make sure the pictures are cleaned and sanitized before dropping them off at Austin County State Bank. Some suggestions include lightly spraying them with Lysol and/or hanging them in direct sunlight for a couple hours. If anyone handling the pictures is sick or has been exposed to anyone known to have the virus, please do not deliver the pictures in person.

We appreciate your attention to these matters and hope everyone has a happy, safe, and healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas.

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