Letters to the editor | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letters to the editor

To the editor:

After a weekend of home PC problems, my mind turns to electronic voting. The actuality of electronic voting is it’s a danger to our democracy: unreliable, too easily manipulated, with no verified paper trail.

Recent studies report numerous and very serious technical flaws with analysis showing the voting system is far below even the most minimal security standards. Here’s a short list:

* Allowing a person to vote more than once

* Changing of party affiliation

* Altering the count of votes

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* Creating and even deleting votes inside the machine

What if we all voted by absentee ballot? It’s hard to feel that we can make any changes within our government but maybe this would. If a huge percentage of Americans voted absentee maybe they’d catch on that we don’t like this idea or at least require paper verification. It’s a way to safeguard our votes we cast this election.

All you have to do is use the application printed on the back of the sample ballot we receive prior to every election. Then either mail it in or take it to your local polling place on Election Day.

“All valid absentee ballots are counted in every election in California, regardless of the outcome or closeness of any race.”

Susan Matthews

South Lake Tahoe

Another take on city budget problems

To the editor:

Your front page on July 13 carried two headlined articles: “Deep cuts for city budget” and “City plans to create economic development czar.” The first issue has to do with the usual threats of inconvenience to the taxpayer … like longer fire response times to unmaintained bike trails in the winter time.

How many times are there two fires at a time that would delay response of the present or reduced fire department? Secondly, how many hours are spent fighting fires versus hours paid to the present fire department?

Another question that needs answering: How does the cost of police and fire protection for South Lake Tahoe’s population compare with other cities our size? And don’t tell me there is no comparison because we have casinos at our state line. If this is the problem, then let the moneyed people in the casinos pay for these extra costs. I have never seen a city where there are two to six cars on a vehicular stop. We have the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, California Highway Patrol and El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department patrolling our streets.

Another problem that has never really been addressed is the fact that all the services that used to be included in the taxes we paid are now charged for with significant fees, so we are paying twice for what we used to pay for once.

If indeed the city was concerned and listened to our merchants, arts and crafts fairs that proliferate in our city and take thousands and thousands of dollars from local merchants would be eliminated, not scheduled for more fairs each year. They come in vans, RVs and beautiful motor homes and spend little or nothing in our city … just take, take, and take.

Phil Baker

South Lake Tahoe

Where is protection in Bush’s America?

To the editor:

By now it’s no secret that in the last four years, the Bush administration has eliminated major protections designed to keep Americans safe at home and work.

He has taken away the right to overtime pay from up to 6 million Americans, including nurses, cooks, clerical workers and nursery school teachers.

He has allowed dirty power plants to expand without controlling their emissions.

He has endangered pregnant workers when he stopped regulating exposure to the chemicals used in the manufacturing of semiconductors

He has reduced protections for mine workers and eliminated rules to protect workers from tuberculosis.

He has rolled back mercury regulations and proposed to defer controls on toxic mercury emissions by power plants for at least a decade, along with other extremely hazardous issues that are ruining our environment.

These are but a few examples. George Bush gutted health and safety protections in response to pressure from top donors and corporate lobbyists. Chemical industry executives donated more than $1.5 million to Bush’s 2000 campaign and were rewarded with looser regulations that boosted corporate profits but put pregnant workers at greater risk.

In addition, he’s launched a new ad smearing John Kerry’s exemplary service in the Vietnam War, in which friends of mine died and/or were maimed for life.

If George Bush wants to make Vietnam a campaign issue, that raises a simple question: Where was he?

Rachel A. Shelton

South Lake Tahoe