The events of Jan. 6 exemplified the magnitude of distrust in this country. Among the many lines of division, the controversy over November’s presidential election remains front and center.

If there’s any chance of reaching common ground, restoring faith begins at home.

America’s national elections are conducted on a local level, and are supervised by citizens within their respective communities. The individuals who staff polling stations have diverse backgrounds and include teachers, mechanics, custodians and engineers. Many are volunteers and passionate about politics. They are Republicans, Democrats, and independents. They are our fellow citizens.

The volunteers and local officials entrusted to safeguard November’s election put their reputations on the line and overwhelmingly confirmed its accuracy. Disputed ballots processed by machines were counted again by hand with identical results. When challenges persisted, they were repeatedly rejected by judges from both parties.

Where do we turn if we dismiss the integrity of our election workers and reject our judicial system? Are people really suggesting we rely on the president and street mobs to settle controversies?

Donald Trump is telling his followers to label all opposed to him as cowardly, incompetent and corrupt. He is willing to demonize our fellow citizens and the American system of justice. It is no longer an exaggeration to compare his politics to World War II Germany.

I will voluntarily be damned before betraying those representing what is good and decent about America.

Raymond Tardif, Auburn

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