Editor

We’re rapidly approaching the November election, and among the many concerns we may all have about it, I hope we all want a fair and accurate count of our votes.

We’ve all heard from various U.S. security agencies that Russia, China and other foreign operatives have successfully hacked into our voting systems and databases in preparation to “interfere” in the 2020 election. As someone who formerly worked in IT, I can vouch that that’s a scary thing, because even if we could effectively safeguard our election systems today, those same hackers could likely breach the systems/databases again – repeatedly – prior to November. However, the good news is there are safeguards that can be implemented to protect the integrity of the election outcome.

The simplest and most basic of those safeguards is a paper ballot for each voter, because that would allow the data collected in a system or database to be verified and re-verified as needed. This process would not necessarily delay verification of the count significantly, because our voting officials could use vote-tabulating machines that have never been exposed to the internet/hackers to do the recounting automatically. That’s what we would have done in the IT world I inhabited – create a paper trail.

I believe that we in California will be using paper ballots to vote, but some states are not prepared to provide paper ballots to all voters. It seems crazy enough to ask people to show up to a polling place in the midst of a pandemic, but if we cannot only secure people’s health but also secure the election’s integrity, why would we not allow voting by mail? The Trump administration claims voting by mail is prone to fraud, yet they have not explained how it could be. Those same mailed-in paper ballots could be electronically scanned post-election to ensure they match the validated voter registration records.

If this makes sense to you, and if you agree everyone who is entitled to vote should have their vote counted, please write our congressman (Tom McClintock) and senators (Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein) to insist upon paper ballots for all U.S. voters, and voting by mail wherever appropriate, for all elections going forward.

Melanie Blaylock,

Valley Springs

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