Secure N.C. votes
I urge the State Board of Elections to reject Elections Systems & Software as a voting machine vendor, and in particular I urge them to reject ES&S barcode ballots.
Instead, I ask them to pursue “hand-marked paper ballots” as a much more secure, less expensive alternative.
We need to make our voting systems more secure and inspire more confidence in ballot security, not less. It needs to have simplicity, not be more complex.
The voting-age American is already cynical enough; they need no more reasons to doubt their vote counts. Once ballot security is lost, once citizens no longer trust that their votes are recorded accurately, democracy will be lost.
Also, why purchase a system that already has drawn so much suspicion in other states — especially if it is more expensive?
Gordon S. Jones, Raleigh
Illegal is illegal
You again missed the point in your July 19 editorial. I-L-L-E-G-A-L is the word you misplaced in your eloquent tear-jerking.
I am not against immigration, never had a problem with it. My family immigrated from Eastern Europe. We are all from somewhere, but aren’t we all supposed to live in a country governed by law?
If you are in this country illegally you are a criminal, nothing more, and certainly not an immigrant.
Good vs. bad, legal vs. Illegal. Pretty simple ideas we all learned from our families and in school.
John Gallant, Clayton
Listen to educators
On May 1 educators from across N.C. rallied around five ideas that would help fill some of the 7,228 N.C public school job openings that currently exist:
▪ Have enough school librarians, psychologists, social workers, and other health professionals to meet national standards
▪ A $15 minimum wage for all school personnel and 5 percent raise for staff, teachers and administrators
▪ Expand Medicaid to improve health of students and families
▪ Reinstate state retiree health benefits
▪ Restore advanced degree compensation
Districts are working overtime now to fill buildings with educators.
What are legislators doing? Patting educators on the head and telling us to be grateful for the breadcrumbs they offered us in their budget.
Until they recognize the heavy lifting that needs to be done to rectify the attitude towards public education and public school educators in N.C. , the educator shortage will continue to grow.
I’m a public school educator. I know what it’s like to work where there are not enough adults in the building. Our students deserve better.
Dane West, Knightdale
Regarding “Yes, leave the US” (July 19 Forum):
I was dismayed by the vitriolic language used by the author.
While I believe firmly in the so-called socialist programs advocated by the four freshmen representatives, I certainly do not think of myself as a “monster” for doing so.
Contrary to the writer’s assertion, the greatest threat to our democracy today is not open debate over such issues — rather, it is our tendency to demonize those with whom we disagree.
Being born in America does not make us better than those who come from other lands. As things are going now in this country, my German ancestors would probably have chosen to stay home.
Carl Flick, Wake Forest
When profit reigns
It’s ironic that socialism is being vilified while insurance companies can determine how much and what kind of care one can receive, pharmacists can refuse to fill prescriptions, many medicines are unaffordable, and 1 in 6 or 7 hospital beds in this country are managed by an entity that has institutionalized malpractice. Profit and ideology have overtaken common sense.
Richard Kauff, Pittsboro
How not to run
This is directed at no particular candidate in the upcoming Raleigh municipal elections.
Running for office on a plan to duplicate good work that has already been done seems to indicate a lack of preparation. For instance, any plan to improve transit has to begin with full implementation of the existing Wake County Transit Plan, which is now in year 3 of a 10-year plan.
If someone wants to talk about how Raleigh should supplement and support this work, then great, let’s hear it.
But plans to explore light rail for instance, when that option was extensively considered and rejected by a community-wide process not five years ago, are not helpful to the voter or the budget.
Reinventing the wheel isn’t necessary on housing either. We know what the challenges and tools are. It’s up to us to continue investing in solutions.
We need to work together on these things. And where the work has been done by one government in the region, it probably doesn’t need to be redone.
John D. Burns, Raleigh