Regarding the Dec. 10 editorial “Repairing America’s elections”:
Why does voting take such a long time now? Because each voting machine is called upon to support two very different activities: the slow activity of reading through a ballot and the fast activity of casting one’s vote.
We can fix this by separating the two activities. For the slow part of voting, the reading part, let’s give voters paper ballots as soon as they check in, and then give them a nearly unlimited number of places to sit while they fill out their ballots.
Let’s use machines only for the fast part of voting, for receiving and counting the completed ballots. This simple fix will permit long ballots, an affordable number of voting machines and quick turnaround for voters.
Steven Howard Johnson, Annapolis
The Post’s editorial board made a clear case for election reform in this country. Expanding early voting, facilitating absentee voting, getting more election equipment and giving better training to poll workers are all sensible solutions to the problem of hours-long waits at the polls.
But the board’s call for “more ambitious reforms,” such as “online voting,” was troubling, and it highlights a pervasive misconception about the strength of cybersecurity. Online voting is susceptible to hacking (the District’s own e-voting test was easily hacked by graduate students in 2010), election-rigging computer viruses and other digital hazards. Online voting also jeopardizes the secret ballot — a foundation of our democracy.
While it is tempting to rely on the Internet for everything from shopping to banking to paying taxes, convenience is not worth the risk of (virtually) losing our right to vote.
Barbara Simons, San Francisco
The writer is chairman of the board of directors of Verified Voting,
At one time in this country, it was considered a privilege and an honor to vote on Election Day. Sadly, many in the electorate no longer seem to take the time to understand the issues.
In Virginia, one cause for the long, slow lines this year was the confusion of many voters about the state constitutional amendments and the bond issue. Thus, they spent a lot of time reading the text. Perhaps the school systems could do a better job of teaching civic responsibility and citizenship.
Bob Eldridge, Reston