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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

There's More Than One Way to Mark a Ballot

September 20, 2003

Even if punch cards can't be used, the recall election need not be postponed. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals should merely order the bad counties with the old punch-card system to find an approved way to count votes. The answer is simple. Print more fill-in-the-bubble ballots, like they use in most counties, and ship them to L.A. for use. The elections people can put them in boxes for each precinct, the voters can fill in their bubbles and put the filled-in ballots back in the box, and then the boxes can be trucked to places like Fresno County, where optical scanners will count them quickly. Sure, it might take an extra day or two to know the result, but wouldn't it be better to have all of this recall business over on Oct. 7 rather than on March 2?

George Strasser

Fresno

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Re "Political Bias Drives Justices' Delay of Recall," Commentary, Sept. 16: Richard Riordan is correct that the recall delay is ridiculous. If the current machines were good enough to elect Davis last November, they are good enough to recall him this October. But we can't have too much sympathy for the poor Republicans; they brought this on themselves. They were unwilling to trust the system in 2000 and wait for a complete count in Florida, which most studies have since shown they would have won. Instead they concocted a weak legal excuse of an argument and got their buddies, the Supremes, to crown King George.

Unfortunately, the side effect of their efforts was to place a dangerous precedent on the law books, which has now turned around and bitten them. Maybe in the future they will stop and think there is a good reason to follow existing laws and procedures and not arbitrarily create new ones. But I won't hold my breath.

Lee Aydelotte

Huntington Beach

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They have tried an impeachment, an appointment and a store-bought recall when elections haven't gone the way they like. Now, letter writer Miriam Jaffe (Sept. 16) warns us that "we are on the path for violent revolution" if court rulings on the recall are not to conservatives' liking. May I offer a modest alternative to her and the rest of the 6% of eligible California voters who signed a recall petition: Try getting more votes than your opponent next time.

Grant Miner

Costa Mesa

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