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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Make the Process Friendlier to Voters

October 11, 2003

I live in the Hollywood Hills. I have lived there for 20 years. In that time, my polling place has changed eight different times! We are rarely appropriately notified about these changes of polling places. Tuesday's balloting place was not even clearly marked as a "polling place," and there was absolutely no place to park. Do people not want us to vote?

Most of us have jobs and families and lives to lead. We shouldn't need to play Sherlock Holmes in order to practice our most important right as American citizens. If finding one's polling place becomes a game of "Clue," then only citizens with a great deal of free time on their hands will be able to win that right to vote. Surely this has to skewer the outcome of any election.

There must be a more equitable way to handle this. In this age of EBay, why can't we vote via computer? If we can pay our electric bills via phone, why can't we vote via telephone? Barring all of that, why can't we at least make our polling places constant and user-friendly?

If we fail to address this most important issue, the true voice of the people will never be heard.

Max Ember

Los Angeles

*

Speaking as an election officer at the polls in Los Angeles County for 30 years, I would like to express my strong objection to the declaring of victory in the election at 8:15 p.m., 15 minutes after the polls closed. This figure is based on absentee voters and television exit polls. None of Los Angeles County's ballots from the polls would even have been delivered to the registrar's office to be counted at that time.

It takes a minimum of one hour for poll workers to verify, sort and repack ballots and voting materials when the polls close. Everyone who voted at the polls is disenfranchised because his or her vote doesn't matter, according to the TV. Perhaps the outcome will eventually be the same, but voters would like to know their votes actually were counted.

Margaret Hall

Redondo Beach

*

Now that we have gone through the recall process and the corresponding phone solicitations, there is one thing we can all agree on: The "do-not-call" list must include political phone calls.

Paul C. Constantine

West Hollywood

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