Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 05, 2004

New provisions for vote security still inadequate

From The Sun's article "Don't be the next Florida" (Aug. 29) I first learned of the new requirement for states to implement "provisional" ballots in the November presidential election, which will allow people whose names do not appear on voter lists to cast a ballot whose validity will be determined later.

This does nothing more than postpone the potential shenanigans that were rampant in Florida in 2000, where Republican felon-finders and Democratic chad-checkers had an equal hand in subverting the will of the people.

Nothing has been solved. The voter will be given the false sense that his or her vote has been accepted but someone, some fallible human, will still have the opportunity to evaluate the voter and the vote, either honestly or otherwise, and to decide, either honestly or not, on whether or not the vote is accepted.

There is a sort of electoral Murphy's Law that ensures that wherever there is a chance for error some mistakes will be made, and that at every opportunity for tampering there will be some fraud.

Preventing these problems would be much more effective than trying to find ways to detect and correct them after they occur.

What we really need to do is to minimize the opportunities for error and abuse by ensuring that the process is simple, understandable and honest in the first place.

Jeffry D. Mueller

Eldersburg

Act now to protect votes in November

The actions of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. should be alarming to all those who truly want and expect integrity in this state's elections ("Elections target," editorial, Aug. 30).

What should be of major concern, but somehow seems to escape the governor, is that the new Diebold Election Systems voting machines don't offer a paper trail that would allow for a way to check the veracity of an individual's vote.

And the fact that these voting machines can still be hacked into, and so far no one has been able to guarantee otherwise, should be alarming to everyone.

Instead of playing politics as usual, the governor should be very concerned about the integrity of voting for the 2004 elections in Maryland.

Olatunji Mwamba

Baltimore

Keep politics out of BCCC choices

Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has appointed three new trustees to the board of Baltimore City Community College ("Ehrlich names three members to BCCC board," Aug. 26). The Baltimore delegation to the General Assembly recommends these individuals to the governor.

BCCC is a very important educational institution and needs the best leadership and skills on its board.

Politics should not be involved in the selection process for BCCC. The college, staff, alumni and supporting organizations should select their own leaders.

I hope the governor and the new president of BCCC will find a better way of selecting trustees.

Let's keep politics out of this selection process and truly select the most qualified candidates.

Donald A. Gabriel

Catonsville

The writer is a member of board of the Baltimore City Community College Alumni Association.

Thoughtless reaction to economic distress

In my opinion, The Sun is correct that "much of the nation has suffered" under the Bush administration economic policies ("A trickle down," editorial, Sept. 1). California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger gave the GOP response to those worried about their income or health insurance - and that is to stop being "economic girlie men" ("Praise for a president," Sept. 1).

I was hoping the Republicans could offer a more serious response to the very real concerns of millions of Americans.

John Tully

Baltimore

Those who pay less have less to spare

In reply to the letter "Wealthy people bear the brunt of tax burden" (Aug. 26), I would say that the recent tax cuts are heavily skewed to favor the wealthy - unfairly so.

Those who pay less income tax have less - for food, medical care, basic necessities. Shouldn't we care enough to remedy this gap just a little?

Easing the tax burden on those with less income isn't "socialism."

It's compassion.

Joanne D. Shecter

Pikesville

Spying for Israel could be treason

The Sun's article "Israelis act to protect ties to U.S." (Aug. 29) describes how a Pentagon analyst, Larry Franklin, is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly passing highly classified material to Israel through an influential lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Mr. Franklin works for Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy, a pro-Israel neoconservative who was one of the major supporters of invading Iraq.

The FBI must vigorously and independently pursue this investigation not just of Mr. Franklin but also of Mr. Feith and his possible manipulation of intelligence on Iraq. Did these neoconservatives help get us into this unnecessary and ill-advised war and occupation of Iraq to make the Middle East safer for Israel?

We cannot have government employees putting the security of any foreign nation (in this case, Israel) above our own interests and needs.

Ray Gordon

Baltimore

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