A vote paper trail
The Associated Press article of July 9 exposed the impact of voter ID laws: They do more to prevent votes than to prevent fraud.
In fact, voter impersonation, one form of election fraud, occurs so rarely that it hardly exists.
A July 9 column by Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post cited the probe of election fraud by the Justice Department under President Bush. It was nationwide, lasted five years and convicted a total of only 86 individuals — none of which involved voter impersonation.
You may recall that the Indiana voter ID law came as a result of fearful claims of widespread election fraud — but no specific instances of voter impersonation were ever mentioned. The legislators simply acted on distrust of Indiana voters.
Speaking of trust, with Indiana’s voting machines you don’t really know whether your votes are counted correctly. You know what you asked the machine to record, but you have no evidence that it followed your instructions. The machines produce only final totals.
Voting machines have misbehaved, either because they malfunctioned or because their computers were programmed incorrectly.
This means that a recount in a close election is a joke. There are only the original numbers from the machines.
At least 27 states have adopted an answer to this problem: a voter-verified paper trail (VVPT). Each voter is provided with a printed list of his voting choices with only the machine identified. If it agrees with his intentions, it goes into a protected container to be available if there is a recount or an audit of a specific machine.
Without the VVPT approach, Indiana is simply asking voters to trust its equipment and procedures while it clearly mistrusts them.
Maybe the legislators can explain why this isn’t one-sided.
Gordon E. Walter
On July 4, I gazed at our nation’s values and see where we have gone wrong.
In the book “With Wings Like Eagles,” by Thomas Kincaid and Calvin Miller, they agree that, “No nation is more seriously enslaved than that which loses its moral conscience.”
In an 1815 decision the Supreme Court ruled, “The destruction of morality renders the power of the government invalid. The corruption of the public mind, in general, and debauching the manners of youth, in particular, by lewd and obscene pictures exhibited to view, must necessarily be attended with the most injurious consequences. … No man is permitted to corrupt the morals of the people.”
Denial does not eradicate sin. A Frenchman named Alexis De Tocqueville said “America is like a temple.” Our founding fathers understood our need to have God in the very center of our government. DeTocqueville also said, “America is great because America is good. When America ceases to be good it will cease to be great.”
We now have a Supreme Court that is only attentive to “elite” public opinion. Conservatives are no longer able to count on the courts.
Is there anyone out there who understands we don’t get our rights from the government? Those are God-given rights. When you receive rights from the government the government can take them away.