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Kelly deserves a fair chance

We at the Daily Mining Gazette do not condone intimidation of any nature.

Intimidation, or bullying, is not appropriate at any age, whether we are talking about young children on the playground, or about adults during an election season.

What happened in March to Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Kelly during a phone call with a candidate for Genesee County Commissioner, Matthew Smith, is never a reasonable act for anyone to commit against another human being. Smith should have thought long and hard about what he was about to do, and then thought again, and then gone to bed, period.

Threatening the livelihood of a clerk in a county 485 miles away from where he lives is itself a cowardly act that should serve as a lesson to bullies everywhere that their behavior is unacceptable.

That being said, the DMG is proud to announce that we firmly endorse Kelly’s candidacy for Houghton County Clerk.

She has done a commendable job for the community during her 20 years in public office. She put two free programs into place since taking over as clerk, the first for veterans and the second was a Property Fraud Alert program for residents in Houghton County. In the process, she saved the county over $250,000 so far.

At the same time we support Kelly, we call upon candidate Justin Kasieta to step down from the race. As the investigation into Smith’s threatening call was conducted by local law enforcement and the Michigan State Police, it became clear that Kasieta was listening in on the call.

Kasieta had the opportunity to step in and attempt to put an end to any threats or other strange behavior exhibited by Smith during the course of the call, but chose instead to remain silent. Silence, in this situation, is an act of complicity.

The DMG believes in fair and open elections. Elections should be free of intimidation, both of candidates and of voters. We also remind all readers that Election Day is Nov. 3. If you plan to vote on Election Day, make sure you are registered either before or on the day of, and then participate in the voting process. It is the single biggest way to make sure your voice is heard by those elected to serve the public trust.

If you are voting by absentee ballot, and after receiving your absent voter ballot, you have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to complete the ballot and return it to the clerk’s office. Your ballot will not be counted unless your signature is on the return envelope and matches your signature on file. If you received assistance voting the ballot, then the signature of the person who helped you must also be on the return envelope. Only you, a family member or person residing in your household, a mail carrier, or election official is authorized to deliver your signed absent voter ballot to your clerk’s office.

Daver Karnosky, Managing Editor

Corky Deroeck, Publisher

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