To the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity:

The name of this commission is the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity. The key word is integrity.

Integrity is important for politicians because they are chosen, appointed or elected to serve society. To be able to serve, politicians are given power to make, execute or control policy. They have the power to influence something or someone. There is, however, a risk that politicians will not use this power to serve society. Aristotle said that because rulers have power, they will be tempted to use it for personal gain. It is important that politicians withstand this temptation, and that requires integrity. I trust that this commission will live up to its name.

Democracy is a three legged stool. A government is not a democracy unless all citizens: 1) Have the right and opportunity to vote; 2) Can vote for a candidate who represents their interests, and: 3) Have their vote accurately counted.

The right and opportunity to vote can be suppressed by gerrymandering; by excessive restrictions on voting — which certain segments of the population cannot overcome; by restricting voting hours; by inadequate polling places that result in long lines or are too far for citizens without transportation to reach; or by the purging of names on voter lists that results in eligible citizens being denied the right to vote without adequate notice or opportunity to re-register.

The right to be able to vote for a candidate who represents one’s interest is also restricted when, in order to be viable, candidates need to seek funding from sources with distinct agendas who have an abundance of money to distribute such that, in many ways, all candidates represent the moneyed interests.

Finally, the right to have one’s vote accurately counted is compromised when electronic voting systems are vulnerable to tampering by local, out-of-state or international actors.

It is important that this commission address all three legs of this stool of democracy, which cannot stand when one of the legs is broken.

I urge you to require same-day registration so that any citizen who has been wrongly purged from the checklist can re-register and vote.

I urge you to speak out against gerrymandering, excessively long lines at polling places, and against the lack of accessible polling places within the reach of every eligible citizen.

I urge you to support a constitutional amendment designed to limit money in politics and outlawing contributions by non-humans and people who are not U.S. citizens.

Finally, and equally important, require a public verification audit of electronic ballot counting device results to assure voters that their vote has been accurately counted.

Mary Till is town moderator in Derry.