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Dear Editor,

After their 2000 election fiasco, Florida taxpayers spent $100 million on fancy new touch-screen voting machines. Their debut in the Sept. 10 primary elections was a disaster. The machines failed, printers jammed and ballots were ripped up. Some of them wouldn’t even turn on. One local politician summed it up best when he said, “Voting in Dade County is a lot like going to a casino.”

Technology isn’t always the answer to every problem. Colorado has been using mail ballots in some county and municipal elections for almost a decade, and we’ve yet to have a pencil jam. People like being able to sit down at their kitchen tables to discuss and figure out today’s long and complex ballots. That’ why 82 percent of the votes in our state were cast by mail in the last odd-year election.



Ballot Initiative 28 would simply extend the use of these proven mail-ballot elections to primary and general elections. It would also require that signatures on the outside return envelope be verified, and would double fines and provide jail time for anyone who cheats. For those who prefer traditional voting, this initiative would offer polling places at local high schools.

Colorado doesn’t need to waste $100 million on high-tech trouble. Voting “yes” on 28 is a simple, convenient and secure solution. Let’s encourage more Coloradoans to participate in democracy while avoiding the fiascoes of Florida. Colorado already has enough casinos.



Susan Burleigh

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

We were deeply disturbed to read that Gov. Owens attempted to block Dr. Hanan Ashwari from speaking at Colorado College and the University of Colorado.

Dr. Ashwari is an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council and now directs the Palestinian Initiative for Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy.

In attempt to block her appearance at our centers for higher education, Gov. Owens’ spokesperson stated, “He believes in freedom of speech, but he’s concerned about paying someone, so divisive, so close to the 9/11 tragedy.” We object!

On the anniversary of 9/11 we felt a strong need to do more than watch the network replay of tragic events. At this time when our president is calling us to war, we were so pleased to find an opportunity to learn more about how the world has changed since 9/11. We traveled to Colorado College to attend the entire symposium, where Dr. Ashwari was only one of many knowledgeable speakers.

What we found was an eloquent plea for peace and understanding from a moderate Palestinian educator. Even Dr. Gideon Doron, a former member of the Israeli National Security Team, welcomed her presentation and addressed her with more respect than our governor.

It is clear to us that America has attained the unprecedented position of the world’s only Superpower. We must now become super-educated on complex world affairs.

The president is calling us to begin a war where certainly thousands of innocent civilians will die and the risks of tragic destabilization in the Middle East are difficult to calculate. At the same time our governor is attempting to block an open discussion by moderate voices far more educated than he.

We think his statements are an insult to free thinking Americans. In order to call us to war, Mr. Bush and now Gov. Owens would have us believe that our world conflict involves only “good guys” and “bad guys.” This attempt to “dumb down” the plot may work for old Western movies, but it is a grave disservice to Americans who must gain some understanding of this very complex and very important issue.

Americans have an obligation to educate ourselves. Gov. Owens, please show some respect for freedom in higher education.

Dr. Paul A. Salmen

Nancy R. Reinisch

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

I have been too long silent, too long casting my vote into a vacuum. It is time to witness for a new model. And we as a nation privileged in wealth and world power must begin the process. Victory through violence leaves the issues where they were in a cycle of endless retaliation.

This is our lesson from the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

I want us to remember and act upon what President Eisenhower said, “Every gun that is fired, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone, it is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hope of its children.”

I vote for a new model: a world in which we wage peace; where globalization will mean equitable access to resources for everyone.

Sincerely,

Mabel Macdonald

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

The TV ads from Sen. Wayne Allard and challenger Tom Strickland are irritating, and insulting to intelligent voters.

Why can’t we hear some substantive issues discussed, rather than all this ugly mud-slinging?

I’m tempted at the moment to vote for neither of them. If Sen. Allard wants my vote, I’d like to see him do something to keep us out of a costly and apparently unnecessary war with Iraq.

The links thus far between Saddam Hussein and the 9/11 terrorists seem tenuous at best. So why is it suddenly crucial to force a leadership change on Iraq when it hasn’t been on anyone’s priority list for the past 10 years? Is it really the threat of “weapons of mass destruction,” or could it be, perhaps, an election-year tactic to distract Americans from a horrendous economy, soaring budget and trade deficits and reprehensible corporate behavior?

Clearly, we must protect our national security. The “war on terrorism” is long overdue, but it’s not quite as simple as hunting down the killers and their financiers. We also need to address the roots of terrorism, including our own role in fostering it.

Let’s not forget that the U.S. helped train and equip bin Laden and the Afghan rebels, supported Saddam Hussein when he was “our guy” in the struggle with Iran, and continues to back an oppressive regime in Saudi Arabia.

There’s no justification for last September’s brutal terrorist attacks, and those responsible should be brought to justice. But if we don’t address the root causes of anti-American sentiment there will be thousands of new terrorists ready to take the place of those we apprehend.

Many of us simply don’t believe the Bush administration’s war propaganda. Before we’ll support a war with Iraq we demand to know the potential costs (and beneficiaries), why so many of our allies are refusing to support us on this and what, specifically, we expect to accomplish.

Then let’s consider the alternatives. Imagine, for instance, what might be accomplished by investing even part of the $200 billion-plus needed for this military campaign into developing renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, which could lessen our dependency on Middle East oil.

Perhaps that’s something the Senate candidates could debate, rather than which one took more money from Qwest and Global Crossing.

Sincerely,

Russ Arensman

Glenwood Springs

Dear Editor,

I am writing to thank Blane Colton for his wonderfully thoughtful and clear prose published in the paper on Sept. 11. He expressed my frustrations as well with Bush’s actions in the wake of the 9/11/01 attacks. We had an opportunity to take a large leap up the evolutionary scale and instead have been led back into a Neanderthal world of savagery and “an eye for an eye.” And now we face an even steeper decline in these discussions about attacking Iraq.

Thank you, too, to the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. I am house-sitting for friends in Silt and have enjoyed the thoughts and opinions shared in your Letters to the Editor. I find them refreshingly more broadminded and well written than the normal fare found in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. Keep up the good work.

Sincerely,

Gail Gnirk

Grand Junction


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