Letter to the editor: Orwell deserved to know vote tally

I have been following with interest your excellent coverage of the Act 46 merger controversy in Orwell. Orwell rejected the proposed merger three times previously and then voted on it for a fourth time again this last election day. Following that vote, I was surprised to learn that the results for the town of Orwell would not be made available to the voters, only the total vote of all the towns included in the proposed merger. It seems odd that Orwell would be asked to vote on an important local issue and then have the results of that vote be withheld from both the town officials and the voters. I can’t think of a precedent for this, either local, or statewide.
It is clear that on election day, Orwell voted down the merger, as they have done three times already, but the vote tally was done in such a way as to disguise this fact from the Orwell voters and your readers.
There have been intelligent and well-informed members of the community who have disagreed on this important decision, and the topic has been debated, as it should be, in a civilized and democratic manner. There are those who feel exhausted by this long debate, but let us hope that it does not end with such an undemocratic maneuver as was played out in this vote. The people of Orwell deserve fair process.
Walter Phelps

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