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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

The accuracy of vote count matters most

Recent attempts to improve the method of voting have focused too much attention on the mechanics of the process rather than its honesty ("Scientists say 'nay' to computerized voting," July 27).

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While it may be desirable to make the process of voting as easy as possible, it is more important that it reveals the real intent of the voter, with little chance for tampering.

The best way to accomplish this would require more paper, not less. Whatever the method of indicating selections, voters should, after entering their choices, be issued three receipts that plainly show their decisions.

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One would then be placed in the counting machine, another would be sent to a remote site in case of the need for a recount, and the third would be kept by the voter.

The voter could then know what choices were submitted. In addition, the accuracy of the exit polls could then be checked.

Arthur Gudwin

Severna Park

Voting machine flaws must be corrected

It is very troubling to learn that voting machines to be used in Maryland have flaws that could allow vote tampering ("Defects reported in voting machines," July 25).

Diebold Election Systems, the manufacturer, notes that its machines have been certified by various jurisdictions, and a Georgia official says he has not had any calls from angry voters. But these are cold comforts.

If the machines have flaws that could be intentionally exploited or cause errors in tabulation, they must be corrected.

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Diebold and government officials responsible for the elections must do everything possible to ensure they can provide a true audit trail of the vote. If that cannot be provided, Maryland should not use these machines.

David Schwartz

Baltimore

Account of recovery unfair to Marines

As one who has been there and done that - i.e., been wounded in combat - I must comment on The Sun's article about Lance Cpl. Michael Wayne Meyer of the U.S. Marine Corps ("Indelibly marked by war's wounds," July 27).

I find the reporting to be negative and anti-military. It disturbs me to see pictures and read of Marines at a pizzeria drinking beer. Under-age drinking is not relevant to the war story.

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Reporter Scott Calvert's comments about how the Marines leaving the Corps had "trashed their barracks" had nothing to do with Corporal Meyer's recovery from wounds received in combat in Iraq.

Although this human interest story tells the public of one Marine's combat experience, once again the media have taken a subject and added statements not pertinent to the story's actual content.

I wonder if it was the reporter's intent to discredit our Corps and possibly cause recruiting problems in the future.

John H. Rine Jr.

Ocean View, Del.

The writer is a retired member of the Marine Corps.

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Wrong signals about alcohol

The Sun's Sunday front-page story about a young man shot during the Iraq war ("Indelibly marked by war's wounds," July 27) was interesting. I was concerned, however, by the pictures that ran with the article.

I assume that the young man is 19 years old, as the article stated, but as I looked further I saw a picture of him and his buddies at a pizza place, each with a Corona beer in front of them. As an educator, I am concerned how this image is viewed by a public struggling with the dangers of under-age drinking.

The other possible suggestion is that when recovering from a traumatic injury such as a gunshot wound, beer is your answer.

I did not see any discussion of alcohol and its impact on this young man in the article, so I am left to wonder about these disturbing images in the Sunday Sun.

Craig Malone

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Bel Air

It's up to immigrants to learn English

I always wonder why when an immigrant, illegal or otherwise, is injured or killed by police, the burden of the language barrier is always placed on the police ("Neighbors question fatal shooting of Honduran man by officer," July 29). It seems to me that it would be simpler if immigrants, illegal or otherwise, learned the English language.

Expecting police officers around the country to learn the language of every immigrant they may come in contact with is ridiculous.

John Laing

Baltimore

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Providing amenities for those with money

A recent Sun report notes that state Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan is considering "new toll lanes for drivers willing to pay a price to drive on congestion-free highways" ("Ehrlich discusses state priorities with transportation chief," July 23). It's about time he realized there's a way we (some of us, anyhow) can bypass our daily highway nastiness.

And, given the state's budget crunch, perhaps the administration can apply the pay-for-privilege principle more broadly: state-administered toll streams where you swim without worrying about what you swallow; a controlled-access bay that doesn't leave a scum line on your boat; gated communities with filtered air and neutralized (non-acid) rain.

The possibilities are endless, if we can accept a slightly modified motto: "Maryland, land of pleasant living - for those who can pay."

Al McKegg

West Friendship

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Israel really is Jewish homeland

The Sun's article "Airlift rescues 6 Iraqi Jews, carries them 'home' to Israel" (July 28) was OK except for two really biased aspects.

First, the title of the article says that the Jews were airlifted "'home' to Israel" with the word "home" in quotes as if Israel is not really home to Jewish people.

The article also said that more than 100,000 Jews were airlifted in the 1950s to Israel from Iraq because of "ethnic violence."

They were airlifted to save them from anti-Jewish pogroms directed at them by the Arab Muslims of Iraq. Calling this "ethnic violence" makes it sound like they weren't being targeted as Jews, and they certainly were.

Avraham Sonenthal

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Baltimore

Bob Hope's humor stood the test of time

I was born in 1939, and by the middle of my childhood I knew Bob Hope through the movies, radio and print media. Then he moved on to TV. He was such a part of our lives that one really did pay attention. Sure, he was corny at times, but he always provided a laugh ("Legendary entertainer gave fans 8 decades of memories," July 29).

I'm no prude (far from it), but he wasn't a garbage-mouth. Mr. Hope could tell a joke that you might not want to repeat to your elderly aunt, but it was always funny. He wasn't interested in shock value, a trait missing in many of today's "funny" men.

There is no one on the horizon to replace people such as Mr. Hope and Kate Hepburn.

Harold Screen

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Parkville


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