Letters to the Editor

Legislators should act on voting machines before 2020 elections brings new problems

South Carolina has $15 million set aside to replace its outdated voting machines, which, unlike in most states, don’t include a paper-trail component. But state election officials estimate $50 million will be needed to replace the state’s 13,000 machines, purchased in 2004.
South Carolina has $15 million set aside to replace its outdated voting machines, which, unlike in most states, don’t include a paper-trail component. But state election officials estimate $50 million will be needed to replace the state’s 13,000 machines, purchased in 2004. The State file photo

As a political candidate, taxpayer and voter who has experienced faulty voting machines, I say BUY NOW. The current machines are antiquated, dysfunctional.

The outcry during previous elections over long lines and not being able to vote will be nothing compared to what is to come if these machines are not updated before the 2020 elections. While S.C. results were rolling in on election night in 2018, my race was not called or determined until after midnight, because machine flash cards had failed (I captured 43 percent).

This problem had nothing to do with our competent Kershaw County Voters Registration staff – the equipment must be replaced.

Also, I support closed primaries, required voter ID, moving voting day to Saturday and additional time options. Voting should be as easy as shopping at a grocery store! More volunteers are essential to work and observe at voting precincts. Since I plan to be a candidate for the S.C. House for District 52 again in 2020, I cannot. But you can – and think how much easier that would be if done on a Saturday!

Contact legislators and ask them to move now on the inevitable utter fail that will be with our current voting machines.

Penry Gustafson

Camden

SC deserves fast, modern, reliable new voting system

Avery Wilk’s Feb. 21 article on the cost of a new voting system highlights important issues surrounding South Carolina’s need to purchase one. The House Ways and Means Committee was correct to pass an appropriation of $40 million because this amount should be entirely adequate to purchase what South Carolina needs: a secure modern system based on hand-marked paper ballots, optically scanned and tabulated in each precinct.

The alternative computerized voting systems are not only much more expensive but are also hackable and unreliable. A “paper trail” is not the same thing as a hand-marked paper ballot. The computer may produce a piece of paper, yes, but the actual voting data is normally in a bar code that is indecipherable to the voter! In addition, voting computers are known nationwide to result in long waiting lines at the polls.

Election security experts nationwide, including the National Academies of Sciences and the Verified Voting Foundation, advise abandoning vulnerable touchscreen electronic voting machines in favor of hand-marked paper ballots as the best method for recording votes in public elections. Seventy percent of American voters now vote on hand-marked paper. South Carolinians also deserve this fast, modern, transparent and reliable system.

Christe McCoy-Lawrence

Holly Hill

Thank you, Arcadia Lakes, for leading the way with plastic bag ban

What good news to read about Arcadia Lakes plastic bag ban!

There is so much plastic in our environment that recycling alone cannot solve the problem. Plastics are more than a coastal issue. They do more than degrade the beauty of natural areas. Plastic bags clog storm drains, stop recycling sorting machines, maim and kill wildlife, release toxins into the environment and eventually into our bodies.

Thank you to The State for covering this important issue and thank you to Arcadia Lakes for leading the way in South Carolina as the first inland community to ban destructive plastic bags! I look forward to hearing about Columbia’s and Richland County’s plastic bag bans in the near future!

Priscilla Preston

Columbia

Society shouldn’t just our ancestors; this generation is worse

How can this society, this generation, pass judgment of the previous generations? We vilify men and their character based on what thoughts we glean from reading of historical books, lessons learned from “teachers” about this country’s past.

Slavery is definitely the most evil institution brought about by mankind. According to Antislavery.org, there is an estimate 40.3 million people enslaved today, 10 million which are children. What are we doing about that? Nothing.

This generation has no business of judging the acts or actions of our forefathers. The sins of this generation is far worse. We condone abortion: 41 million worldwide, according to Worldometers. We spew evil and hate for our elected officials and law enforcement. The God in Word has clearly stated we are to honor all those in authority; no matter their political affiliation.

We deem ourselves better than our forefathers ? This generation is far more evil and wicked than those of the past. We have no room to judge because we fail to see the beam in our own eyes.

Earl Pathel

Lexington

The State publishes a cross section of the letters we receive from South Carolinians in order to provide a forum for our community and also to allow our community to get a good look at itself, for good or bad. The letters represent the views of the letter writers, not necessarily of The State.

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