People protesting the death of George Floyd gather in front...

People protesting the death of George Floyd gather in front of a Minneapolis fast-food restaurant in flames on May 29, 2020. Credit: AP/John Minchillo

Cross-endorsement elections are shams

In 2015, I ran for Riverhead Town supervisor. On Election Day, as I stood in line to vote, a kindly looking, older man with a heavy accent asked about something on his sample ballot. Enthusiastically, I said, "In fact, that’s me!" pointing to my name. He asked why names in some columns were in every square. "Oh, that’s cross-endorsement," I replied. "Some candidates run on multiple lines." He responded, "I leave Russia for this?"

I’m in California now, but I keep in touch with the Island’s politics and read Newsday’s "Voter’s Guide 2021" [Oct. 31]. So now I also ask, "What’s this?"

Both parties have money. So why are there so many uncontested, cross-endorsed races this year? Council seats, legislators, offices like sheriff. No competition?

What happened to the two-party system? It may suit the narrow interests of party bosses to determine the political landscape, but how does that make for a better Long Island? When the end result is predetermined, why participate?

Competition breeds a better product. Stop sham elections. Give people real choices.

— Anthony Coates, Indian Wells, Calif.

The Long Island ballots are becoming a joke. Why do we bother voting for judges anymore? Supreme Court, District Court, all are cross-endorsed.

Maybe it is time to save the expense and just start appointing them. They are pretty much just getting appointed this way anyway.

— Bob Diehl, Rockville Centre

Term limits would help Congress

The Democrats’ inability to pass President Joe Biden’s initiatives highlights the need for change regarding our public servants in Congress ["Dems hope for House budget votes soon," News, Oct. 31]. Each representative and senator’s intransigence in compromising seems rooted in the belief that the person will remain in office longer than any president.

Voters should insist on the implementation of term limits and public financing of campaigns. Also, all private holdings should be converted to their own state’s municipal bonds. This would refocus the officeholders’ efforts on public service and away from self-aggrandizement.

— Clifford D. Glass, East Rockaway

Headline paired with photo was misleading

The article "Docs: Site let Trump ignite hate" [Nation, Oct. 28] mentions hateful and violent posts on Facebook by supporters of former President Donald Trump after his social media messages. It has a picture of a Minneapolis eatery in flames. The article neglects to mention that the rioting, looting and burning in that city were not by Trump supporters. People glancing at that headline and article might think it was Trump supporters in that photo. That was misleading.  

— Joe Cesare, Copiague

Facebook has given us a platform to say pretty much anything we want, and we do. Where families once gathered around the dinner table to talk about the day, now the household is busy losing themselves within the social network and aligning themselves with those of a like mind.

Ignorance and hate have found a voice in the postings and tweets of those who had previously only been heard by anyone within earshot.

When the next racist, violent or incendiary act occurs, and you hear someone promise, "That’s not us," don’t believe them. It is us.

— Bob Bascelli, Seaford

Post offices not alike in enforcing masks

I recently visited three local post offices and realized the safety precautions put in place were different.

The first two post offices had a sign that said "mask recommended," which enables patrons to enter the lobby without a mask. A  gregarious, unmasked customer would not stop talking to a masked postal worker, who is required to wear one.

After the customer left, the postal worker told me that upper management gave up on the mask requirement for customers to avoid conflict and abusive behavior. She thanked me for wearing a mask and confided that she lost her husband to COVID-19 last year. I wondered what the postal service must be thinking about allowing people without masks inside their lobbies.

The third post office had a "mask required" sign. Regardless what is recommended or required, we should wear masks and keep others safe, too.

— Gene Castoria, Roslyn Heights

Simplify in-person voting and save trees

On Oct. 30, my wife and I voted early. A clerk checked us in on a computer, and we signed our names. We took our receipt to a clerk, who printed a personal ballot for our district .

Then we filled in all the bubbles with a marker on the ballot, which we   took to a computer scanner to validate and cast our votes. A lot of computers were used to cast our paper ballots so we can’t be hacked. Wouldn’t it be faster and safer if my ballot were brought up on a tablet, where I could cast my vote and hit send? The trees we’d   save would be grateful, too.

— Paul Spina, Riverhead

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