Saturday, July 29, 2006

Yesterday the Union Tribune ran some letters in response to their editorial that called our concerns about electronic voting "unfounded". My letter wasn't published, but several were so that tells me a lot of people wrote in respose to their error filled editorial.

Here's Jess Durfee's response in full. Durfee is the chair of the Democratic Party in San Diego County.

The San Diego County Democratic Party made a specific request of the county Board of Supervisors last week, though your editorial failed to mention it (“Voting integrity/Challenge to county procedures unfounded,” July 24). As county chair of the party, we are calling for open hearings on election practices because San Diegans deserve a meaningful forum to air concerns about our system of voting.

Election integrity is more than the domain of “a small collection of Internet conspiratorialists.” Newsweek, The Washington Post, CNN and others have addressed the challenge of verifying votes now that computer discs have taken the place of ballot boxes. The poll workers I've talked to received three to four hours of training, not 16. They took their duties seriously, but how could they promise constant security for machines that sat for days in their living rooms and garages?

Touch-screen voting machines will be used throughout California this November for the first time. Defenders of the sleepover policy who claim “we've always done it this way” sound a little disingenuous to me.

Electronic voting machines are not the only issue. We've heard from numerous voters who received absentee ballots too late to mail them back. The Union-Tribune reported on a variety of public complaints days before the June 6 election. Wouldn't this be a good time to follow up on those concerns and to hear from San Diego County voters and taxpayers?

Your editorial suggests our push for election hearings will undermine voter confidence. I couldn't disagree more. In a time of legitimate public concern, what we need is more transparency, not less.

San Diego


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