Push for ID a form of class warfare

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

September 28, 2006

Having studied the long and shameful history of institutional voter suppression of the poor and people of color over the last 150 years, I agree with Cynthia Tucker that the push for voter ID cards is a cumbersome and costly (especially for people of little means) solution to a problem whose very existence cannot be confirmed by hard evidence ("Voter ID cards are solution to problem that doesn't exist," Opinion * Commentary, Sept. 25).

All Americans should have their red flags up whenever citizens of means try to concoct ways to make voting more difficult for citizens without adequate means.

This is a form of class warfare and voter suppression, and it should be recognized for what it is.

I would suggest that people who practice vote suppression should be barred from voting or holding public office.

And the current focus on vote security represents another in a long line of the kind of shamelessly hyped dangers (e.g. Iraq's weapons of mass destruction) that our current administration and its party hacks conjure up every two years to scare people into voting out of fear rather than hope.

I hope nobody's buying it. But I fear that they are.

Ben Cohen

Owings Mills

Let everyone vote through the mail

The Sun's editorial "Absentee leadership" (Sept. 24) asks if the governor is serious in attempting to repair Maryland's voting fiasco.

But I'll go further than the governor did: I think the local election boards should print absentee ballots designed for optical scanning then, using the voter registration rolls, mail an absentee ballot to every voter in their jurisdiction.

The election boards should obtain one or two optical scanners to count the absentee ballots, and not even bother opening the polls on "Election Day."

I'm sure this approach would increase voting, decrease fraud, increase accuracy, improve the timeliness of results and save a lot of money.

Dick Tatlow

Marriottsville

Absentee ballots still better option

Perhaps the manufacturer of the electronic voting machines can provide statewide troubleshooters to avoid problems; perhaps new polling equipment can be delivered and tested; perhaps enough judges can be found for every metropolitan polling place; perhaps there is enough time for better training to take place.

Perhaps The Sun's optimism that the problems at the polls can be fixed by November is justified ("Absentee leadership," editorial, Sept. 24).

But my wife and I will vote by absentee ballot and I am urging others to do so.

Each person voting by absentee ballot will take pressure off the polling place and, as the writer of the letter "Cast absentee ballot in privacy of home" (Sept. 24) notes, with an absentee ballot one can vote in a "calm and relaxed manner."

Applications for absentee ballots are easily obtained on-line in Maryland. And it would not be difficult for the state to place applications at all post offices or supermarkets.

I am a Democrat who is not very happy with the Ehrlich administration.

But I hope everyone will cooperate in a positive manner to assure a smooth election.

Ross Sanderson

Towson

Executing Evans could save lives

It is amazing how a thug like Vernon Evans is being portrayed as an innocent victim ("Evans suit leads to changes," Sept. 22). When is someone going to expend as much ink on his murder victims and their families?

In addition to the cold-blooded murders for which Mr. Evans is responsible, another good reason he should die is that it may save the life of a correctional officer.

Remember that the murderers allegedly responsible for the death of Officer David McGuinn were already convicted murderers.

John Laing

Baltimore

Glad to see Clinton defend his record

I cannot find the words to express my pleasure at seeing President Bill Clinton defend himself in his recent Fox News interview ("Clinton defends bin Laden handling," Sept. 25).

I can easily forgive some indiscretions on Mr. Clinton's part, as opposed to the current mess the Bush administration has gotten this county into.

An intractable war, increased terrorism, tax benefits for the wealthy, environmental neglect and the list of GOP failures goes on.

It is clearly time for a change.

Franklin Shekore

Columbia

Focus the outrage on the extremists

Why do so many people of the Muslim faith react so violently to words? Did their moms never teach them that old adage about sticks and stones ("Pope meets with Muslim diplomats," Sept. 26)?

If every religious group or ethnic group reacted to disparaging words in such a manner, we would wind up annihilating each other.

For instance, Italians are shown in an unfavorable light in the popular show The Sopranos. Jews were shown in an unfavorable light in the movie The Passion of the Christ.

And the creator of that movie has made extremely derogatory remarks about Jews being responsible for all the ills in the world.

But does anyone hear Italians and Jews threatening to create havoc?

Maybe conservative Muslims need to redirect their anger toward the fanatics in their religion.

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