November 9, 2012

As someone who has volunteered for the Fairfax County Election Board as an assistant chief in the past few elections, I was disturbed to read in the Nov. 8 editorial “Drawing the line” that some officials “warn against overspending on polling equipment” to deal with the rare possibility of a close election.

That is one of the reasons we should fund the mechanics of an election properly.

Most people’s only experience with the political process is showing up to vote. If they don’t have confidence in the system when they encounter it, we undercut the primary mission of our elections: Citizens accept our elections as fair and open.

Increasingly, I have heard concerns from citizens that their votes might not be counted. That sentiment was stronger this year because voter fraud became a subject of much discussion. Breakdowns in machinery only heighten that suspicion.

I volunteer for election duty because I want to help ensure that the process is fair for all and is perceived to be fair by all. Those are the core principles of an efficient election and provide the United States with the blessings of a peaceful transfer of power.

Dennis Melamed, Alexandria