Letters to the Editor

Joan of Arc riding to voters' aid

Re The Bee's editorial of Aug. 10, "Secretary of state's act worrisome for election": With the enemy at the gates of our democracy, a Joan of Arc has ridden to our rescue and you shoot her down.

This you got right: "Many people are leery of computer voting, knowing how easy it is to manipulate computer counts and how hard it is to track that manipulation."

So, why criticize Secretary of State Debra Bowen for seeing to it that the computer counts cannot be manipulated, and that the voting process is open, accurate and verifiable? Rather, castigate those county officials who did not do what our registrar, Lee Lundrigan, did to ensure that Stanislaus County machines meet federal and state requirements for security.

A steady stream of reports have documented numerous types of defects that experts (not "dedicated hackers," as you put it) have found in virtually all types of computerized voting machines.

Computers are open to manipulation in ways paper ballots never could be — at any point from where they are manufactured, to where they are sent for votes to be counted. As a result, a single dedicated hacker can affect a wide swath of the voting landscape.