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May 20, 2014

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cam Qazcttc VIEWPOINTS TUESDAY, MAY 20- THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014 7 Letters )) Continued from page 6 students, strengthen the connec- tions between secondary and postsecondary education, and improve state and local account- ability." I attended a New Castle County vo-tech high school in the late 1970s and I am extremely fortunate that my guidance coun- selors directed me away from the non-college track. I realize that many of the non-college stu- dents I graduated with obtained decent jobs, however the pay, positions, and upward mobility were not at the levels of those of us who graduated from college. Additionally, without my col- lege education I would not have had the opportunity to gain the personal growth, experiences and self-confidence that have made me who I am today. For Delaware to consider returning to tracking is incom- prehensible. Are you saying we should make an eighth-grader decide whether to choose a vo- cational or college track? What if they choose the vocational track? Will they then not be allowed to develop their academic and intellectual capabilities and most likely be less affluent than the eighth-grader who chose the col- lege track? Times have changed; we're not in the 1900s. We must do everything we can to provide all high school students with the skills and knowledge to attend college to acquire the education necessary to compete in today's job market. Tina Downs Lewes Same-day voter registration a bad idea I continue to be amazed by some of our legislators. Why any of them would think that same- day voter registration is a good idea is beyond me. The potential for fraud is obvious. Same-day registration does not give our Dept. of Elections time to verify eligibility, lust look at what hap- pened in North Carolina and elsewhere. Voting is a serious business. It's not as if the president wakes up one day and says, "Tomorrow we vote!" and it takes us all by surprise. We know that in early November, every two years, we vote. It is not news. There are TV ads, radio ads and signs covering our roadsides that make it impos- sible to ignore. In two years (730 days) if you have made time to get a haircut, go to the grocery store, visit friends, go to church, take in a movie, go out to eat, go to the library or just take a walk, then why can't you fmd time to register to vote? It's not rocket science. If you need help, call the Dept. of Elections, ask a friend, a minister, look on the internet or call the political party headquar- ters of your choice. And, by the way, the same applies to voter IDs. And if you can't manage any of these things, then perhaps you shouldn't be voting. If you don't care enough to put aside the time, which is only minutes, then it can't be that important to you. In this age of instant gratifica- tion, same-day voter registration is the wrong incentive, just like the bad old days when a two-dol- lar bill and a half-pint of gin were used to entice a vote. Eva Dickey Dover Opposed to same-day voter registration HB 105 is not, as claimed by DELAWARE CAPE REGION HISTORY IN PHOTOGRAPHS )) GEORGETOWN HIGH SCHOOL MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO IIIGII SCHOOl.. Geortretown, Del. Geo, E. Swain, Drttggist & Stationer lland Colored DELAWARE PUBLIC ARCHIVES/DELAWARE HERITAGE COLLECTION THIS PHOTOGRAPH is in the postcard collection of the Corbit-Calloway Memorial Library in Odessa. It shows the old Georgetown High School in about 1910. The hand-colored card came from the inventory of George E. Swain, druggist and stationer. Sen. Marshall, the next step in allowing citizens to register and vote for their candidate. Each citizen has always had that abil- ity, they only need to exercise it. Sen. Henry correctly notes that "state and municipal elections are much larger in scope and more difficult to manage." (Hmm, what about presidential elections?) She is "confident" that the "training programs needed to make same- day registration work here are doable." How many additional poll workers will be needed to meet the increased flow of voters? What kind of training will they receive to identify false identifi- cation? How will they be able to tell if a person has already voted somewhere else? All unanswered questions. She claims that investigations in Wisconsin and New Hamp- shire have shown virtually no voter fraud, but she doesn't men- tion the investigation in North Carolina which identified tens of thousand of cases of questionable votes. She tells us that while anyone can register and vote, those who are already registered will not be able to change their party affili- ation - a "safeguard" to prevent "political mischief-making." If she is concerned about "mischief making" in a primary why isn't she concerned about manipula- tion during a general election? She tries to calm our concerns by telling us that someone who registers and votes is standing before an election official and risks being caught committing voter fraud. How? There is no Continued on page 8 We have enough divisions; we don't need to create more t sounded pretty in- nocuous. And should have been. At last week's Sus- sex County Council meeting, Councilman George Cole made a resolution to grant $500 - $100 per councilperson - to the Lower Sussex NAACP Youth Council. The money was to go toward things like a financial workshop and a fitness challenge. Council members regularly makes grants to various groups, with money taken from dis- cretionary accounts set aside for this purpose. I'm lukewarm about council members bestow- ing money this way, but it's a long-accepted practice. I'm sure cash-poor community groups are quite grateful. And no doubt the NAACP is grateful too. It received its grant, though only after some grandstanding by Councilmen Sam Wilson and Vance Phillips. Here's Wilson questioning the NAACP representative: "Take my name off. I'm not going to give anything. Unless you can describe what that says. What's NAACP stand for?" Wilson, of course, knows what it stands for. He was being a wise guy. He could have said nothing; he could have said he thought the money should go elsewhere; he could have said he disagreed with the group's goals. Yes, he might still have gotten some flack for voting against the measure. But he would have been able to argue more credibly that he was sim- ply trying to make the best use of county money. But where's the fun in that? What's the sense of holding power unless you can make the powerless squirm? When the county finance director said the acronym stood for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People - Duh! - this gave Phil- lips an opportunity to show his true colors, so to speak. "What color?" Phillips asked. Seriously? Is this necessary? Did he have to play the same game as Wilson? Yes, he did. He continued, "I'm with Mr. Wilson. This is an organization that obviously is directed at a certain race that strikes me as inappropriate in this day of racial equality." Whereupon Wilson added, "Sounds like discrimination to me." It's nice that Wilson and Phillips are so concerned about discrimination. But it would be easier to believe we are living in a "day of racial equality" if all citizens who came before council were treated with equal respect. Actions speak louder than words, and the actions of Wil- son and Phillips detracted from their own message of racial equality. It would also be nice to set aside silly stunts that needlessly divide people and to attend to the serious business of govern- ing. Which is difficult enough without the antics. (I say "needlessly," but per- haps the politically weakened Phillips feels the need to rile up his base to win his September primary against Harry Strickler Jr. of Frankford.) In the end, Cole offered a resolution to have the $500 taken from the accounts of three of the members, him- self, loan Deaver and Michael Vincent. This passed 4-1, with Wilson voting against and Phil- lips, oddly, voting in favor. If Phillips thinks it inap- propriate to grant money to the group, why vote in favor? It's still county - or taxpayer - taxpayer money, regardless of whose account it comes from. It sounds like a case of wanting to have your cake and eat it, too. Sorry, that won't wash. Now I wonder whether Wilson may have outsmarted himself. He enjoys stirring the pot, but he may have stirred up a dish not to his liking. ]ane Hovington of the Lower Sussex NAACP is scheduled to make a statement at this morn- ing's (May 20) Sussex County Council meeting, and activists are calling on people to attend. They're also making a push for people of all colors to join the NAACP. There's nothing odd about that. The NAACP was founded by both black and white people, and its mission statement is more broad-based than you might expect. It aims "to ensure the politi- cal, educational, social and eco- nomic equality of rights for all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimina- tion." Sounds like the kind of group that Wilson and Phillips could support. Don Flood is a former newspaper editor living near Lewes. He can be reached at