It takes courage, stamina and support to mount a write-in election campaign. East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. has this trio. It takes courage and support to use the courts as election tools, as did the mayor’s opponent Emeka Jackson-Hicks. She is also cited as courageous. However, I applaud Parks for not caving in because the state Supreme Court removed his name from the ballot. He is mounting a write-in campaign. Wow.
As the first female (black or white) to serve on the East St. Louis Board (1978-1988), it is my opinion that election opponents should face each other at the polls rather than in the courts. It takes an intelligent populace to know for sure how to write in the names of chosen candidates.
It is my opinion and experience that the voters of East St. Louis have the capability to choose wisely, whether it be Parks or Jackson-Hicks. The incumbent mayor is fortunate that his name is short and easy to spell. Jackson-Hicks’ name would not be as easy in a write-in situation.
I am saddened that the court has decreed that absentee and early votes cast for Parks will not be counted in the April 7 election. Meanwhile, I trust that God will guide all of us in the election and beyond.
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Katie Harper Wright
East St. Louis