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Letter to the editor: Media should give readers informed opinions

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead editorial, “A glowing N.D. report from Pew,” that that ran in The Jamestown Sun April 14 was unfair in its approach to responsible journalism. 

In a democracy we count on the belief that our media’s opinions are based on facts, yet The Forum’s inaccurate portrayal of April Fairfield’s secretary of state campaign is more befitting right-wing talk radio than the responsibility we entrust to one of our state’s largest news outlets.

Somehow in the editorial, The Forum inaccurately bridged Fairfield’s concerns for the disenfranchising effect of North Dakota’s new voter identification laws into saying her concern is with the past performance of how our elections have been run. In fact, with a little investigative reporting on this new voter law, perhaps you would understand what Fairfield is saying and concur with her concerns.

North Dakotans brag about our time-honored system that runs elections very well, and the referenced Pew poll bares that out. Our county auditors and their staff do a great job training and working with both political parties. But that’s all changing. As reported in The Jamestown Sun article, “County rescinds bid for road project at request of CHS,” that ran April 2, problems created by this new voter ID law could require a reserve deputy at the polls in case some voters become belligerent due to the new requirement for picture identification in order to vote. If that’s not a cause for concern then what is? This new voter ID law is clearly a bad solution to a problem we didn’t have.

The most galling and terribly untrue line in The Forum editorial was suggesting Fairfield would fire the employees in the secretary of state’s office. Don’t mistake Fairfield’s wanting to change the leadership, organization and direction in the secretary of state’s office as a knock on the employees. In fact, it’s just the opposite. I clearly heard Fairfield thank our state employees for their dedication and hard work in her nomination acceptance speech at the North Dakota Democratic-NPL convention.

As a state representative and senator, Fairfield was a champion for the state employees and they all know it. Fairfield sponsored and fought for many bills intended to make public employees’ lives better.

Leave the hatchet jobs to the fringe media and give us a truly informed opinion that we can base our decisions on.