Auditor General’s Disgraceful Display

December 27, 2018

Editor: I write to The Citizens’ Voice regarding recent coverage of Luzerne County Director of Elections Marisa Crispell and statements made about her by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale (Dec. 12). I read the auditor general’s public comments with great dismay. His leap to characterize a situation he has not yet begun to investigate as a “disgrace” was itself an ill-considered and disgraceful display. The circumstances may call for a sober and open-minded investigation, but the auditor general’s comments were incendiary and unhelpful. By his own prejudiced statements, he has betrayed any appearance of impartiality or intellectual honesty that he hoped to project. I am acquainted with Ms. Crispell and other county election officials across the Commonwealth. They are knowledgeable, dedicated and passionate public servants who give their all to deliver smooth, safe and fair elections to their voters. They work long hours and devote painstaking attention to every detail of their jobs in order to make democracy work on the ground on Election Day. They do not work in the public sector for the money; they choose to work for local government because they believe they can make a positive difference in the daily lived experiences of people in their communities. The auditor general does all of them a disservice with his words. Perhaps most importantly, county election officials are careful — indeed, hypervigilant — to treat everyone fairly and uniformly. Before Mr. DePasquale embarks on an investigative crusade against all county election officials, it would be nice if he adopted the same impartial, even-tempered commitment to due process in his public statements that county election officials already practice every day. His poorly chosen words at the outset of this situation should give everyone cause to question his motives and his ability to conduct a fair and unbiased investigation. Forrest Lehman Lycoming County Director of Elections WILLIAMSPORT

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