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Punch-Card System Might Not Be So Bad

September 23, 2003

While I disagree with the recall, I am glad L.A. County still has punch-card ballots. Credible sources, such as Johns Hopkins University, have concluded that touch-screen computer voting machines have woefully inadequate protection against hacking or other types of fraud (Sept. 19). The chief executive of the largest distributor of touch-screen machines, Diebold, has made major contributions to the Bush campaign. The distributors have convinced buyers that paper verification of votes would be too problematic. This is patently ridiculous, serving only to prevent us from checking the accuracy of the vote tally. Why not use the same receipt technology as ATMs? At least punch cards, including their hanging chads, are tangible evidence of my vote.

Jan Ducker

Sylmar

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I requested to vote by absentee ballot and received a punch-card ballot by mail. What a surprise it was when I found out how efficiently it worked. I punched the four votes I had previously decided on, removed the chads and had it ready to mail back in less than five minutes, including stamp and return address label. I am still trying to ascertain what rights of mine have been violated with the punch card.

Lori Graham

Los Angeles

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I received my Official Voter Information Guide and was about to carefully study the backgrounds of the candidates for governor. But instead, I gasped in shock when I noticed that Angelyne, Gary Coleman, Mary "Mary Carey" Cook and Arnold Schwarzenegger (perhaps there were others, as well, but I stopped there) had not submitted their statements of qualification. Gee whiz, how is a person supposed to make a fair assessment?

Leah Schweitzer

Valencia

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How long -- and at what cost -- will it take California to mop up after Hurricane Issa?

Jean Collinsworth

Claremont

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