Sunday, September 17, 2006

Letter to Editor of WashPost re: Major Problems At Polls Feared

Sent to: letters@washpost.com

9/17/06
Re: Major Problems At Polls Feared (9/17/06, p.A1)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/16/AR2006091600885_pf.html

Dear Editor:

The same September 17, 2006 issue with the front page headline "Major Problems at Polls Feared" also reported on the complications with Maryland's Primary Election and the ongoing series of electoral "train wrecks" nationwide this year. Poll problems are not just feared, they have begun. Your "Feared" article is reminiscent of stories prior to the November 2004 election in which the public was told to expect lawsuits and delayed vote counting. Yet immediately after that election, citizens were vilified for trying to spotlight the very problems we were told to expect.

This November, more than one third of the votes will be cast on paperless electronic machines that cannot be recounted. At least an equal number of votes will be counted on optical scanners using secret proprietary computer programming. In a recent survey, Zogby International found 92% of Americans believe we have a right to know and see how our votes are counted. But by design, we cannot know or see how our votes are counted. The problems the Washington Post says we should fear do not stem from results yet to be reported, but rather from the very election conditions that are already in place. Listen closely and you'll hear Americans saying "We Do Not Consent" to secret vote counting that requires blind trust and provides no basis for confidence in the results reported.

Dave Berman
Eureka, CA

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