Sunday, July 09, 2006

'Tis the Season

By Cassandra D

It's election time again, and yard signs are popping up all over. This election is a weird one for me. I live in a small enough place and I have reached a, well, mature enough age that I actually know quite a few of the candidates. It fills me with optimism and admiration to see the campaigning. I know that most of the candidates are sticking their necks out, pounding the pavement, and scrounging up dollars because they truly want to serve, often in jobs that don't pay that well and are frequently thankless.

Even when people I don't support win, I'm okay with it. As long as I believe that the elections are fair.

The trust that our elections are fair has eroded in the last few years. I grew up with the idea that discriminatory voting laws in the South were long-since court-ordered and legislated away, and that modern voting in the U.S. was the shining example of democracy for the world.

I want to have that faith again. I, like a lot of other people, am concerned in particular about paperless voting machines and the potential to rig elections.

Common Cause has a series of election reforms they are advocating, including this one:

"All voting systems must have a voter-verified paper ballot that is the official ballot for purposes of recounts and audits."

Surely free and fair elections are a priority that all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, can agree on and enthusiastically support. I am suspicious of anyone who opposes such common-sense patriotism.

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