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Computer Voting: Florida's System Highlights Glitches

September 16, 2002

Gosh, everyone is so surprised at the latest Florida election fiasco ("Florida Vote Foul-Up Puts Reform Onus on Congress," Sept. 12). For hundreds of years, little pieces of paper with holes punched in them have had a pretty good record of providing pretty accurate results in thousands of polling places in thousands of elections. No system being perfect, "design flaws" may have caused problems in a handful of locations over the centuries. And yes, we all know of one possible biggie in that department--out of billions of "beta tests" of paper ballots.

But if anyone thinks that going high-tech is going to prevent or lessen this type of glitch, that person has never had a computer crash in the middle of a sentence, called a company for information only to be told the system is down, had a computer file lost in cyberspace or spent two lovely hours with tech support. Did people really think that having computers at polling places would solve the problems? Will California rethink the plan on spending hundreds of millions of dollars to follow Florida's latest lead?

David Goodwin

Los Angeles

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It was good to see that the only state of emergency in the country last week was the one Gov. Jeb Bush called in Florida to keep polls open after hours during the state's glitched primary balloting on Tuesday. Former Secretary of State Katherine Harris must be so proud of her track record and election reform legacy there.

And to think, Harris may have a chance to put her magical hands on the issue at a national level. She easily won the Republican primary for U.S. representative from a Florida district.

Russell Johnson

Marina del Rey

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Gov. Bush has been quoted as saying, "What is it with Democrats having a hard time voting--I don't know."

What is it with the state of Florida having a hard time counting Democrat votes--I don't know.

Ray Laska

Los Angeles

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Is there any way we can keep Florida from voting in the 2004 election?

Mark Temple

Huntington Beach

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