Letter – Vines should know the law

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Will Michael Vines ever take his role as a public official seriously?

On June 21, Mr. Vines, according to statements given by election officials to police, interfered with the Republican primary vote at Windsor Town Center while attempting to collect signatures at the last minute to qualify for the November school board ballot. Mr. Vines, according to police video, claims the registrar said he was short six signatures for his ballot petition due to “redistricting.” His signatures had to come from the town of Windsor instead of the 4th District, so they “sent him” to the polling place to collect signatures.

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This story is preposterous, but even if the registrar “sent” Mr. Vines to the polling place, any public official should know this is inappropriate at best and illegal at worst. However, it doesn’t stop there. Once Mr. Vines wandered into the Town Center, according to statements election officials gave police, he was told three times he had to be at least 40 feet from the building during an election. Mr. Vines, according to at least two witnesses, inferred it was too hot for him to stand outside to collect signatures.

When he finally did leave, election officials told police, Mr. Vines asked a Town Center employee to collect signatures on his behalf, which she politely declined. I wonder if Mr. Vines planned to provide her a separate signature sheet and have a notary witness her signature on the circulator affidavit; I have my doubts.

We know this happened because the local police had to come to the Town Center to enforce the law. I will give Mr. Vines the benefit of the doubt and assume he went to the Town Center not knowing how wrong his actions were. That would be in line with how Mr. Vines treats everything involving his role in the school board.

He lacks the intellectual curiosity to read and understand what the law requires and demands of him. Mr. Vines’ arrogance doesn’t allow him to consider he is wrong. And why should he? No one with authority to hold him accountable seems interested in doing so.


Lewis Edmonds