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The real e-voting problem

In response to the article written by Robert Lemos, "California county to defy e-voting ban":

In your article, you made the statement, "Concerns over security, however, have apparently trumped the rights of the disabled."

This is incorrect. There are a number of voting technologies that the disabled can use, and some are actually easier than the touch screen versions. In fact, only a very few disabilities make touch screens appear easier than some paper ballot systems--deaf people find no difference, for instance. Blind people find braille paper ballots.

As to the quote you cited: "'We don't want to return to a less accurate, less accessible paper ballot system,' said Mischelle Townsend," either she hasn't been paying attention or she has a comprehension problem. The whole reason this is happening is because the Diebold equipment is not trustworthy and is very possibly less accurate than paper. It is also the case that there are other machines, by other vendors, that are in compliance with the Help America Vote Act, more accessible to voters and much more trustworthy.

For example, most of the optical scan systems provide better accuracy, are accessible to users, have auditable ballots and have modifications to make them easily accessible to disabled individuals. Fundamentally, the question is one of citizen rights: Do we sacrifice confidence in the accuracy and fairness of our vote for cost and convenience? The board in San Bernadino is saying it doesn't care about the law or about the accurate collection of its citizen's votes--it indends to stick with a bad decision, made using false and mistaken information.

As a reporter for a major news outlet, one would hope that you would verify the facts and cover that as the story.

Gene Spafford
West Lafayette, Indiana