Here in Bucks County, we have a special duty, privilege, responsibility to honor the well known and loved American principles of our Founders, such as .freedom of speech, assembly, religion. and the right for representation.
But will we have accurately elected representatives to uphold such core American principles, with the advent ,nationwide of electronic voting machines, that have been found to be neither secure nor accurate (see Government Accountability Office, GAO report Fall '05)? Answer: Yes. If a machine is chosen with a voter checked paper ballot. About twenty Bucks municipalities, seven former commissioners, Bucks County Association of Township Officials all have signed on to this concept. Yet no endorsement by our Commissioners. Why?
But, you ask, what is a Commissioner to do if there are no touchscreen machines that are State certified to produce such paper ballots, available for audits and recounts at the end of the evening? Answer: choose non touchscreen electronic choice of Preciinct Based Optical Scanner. You mark the easily readable, easy to recount ballot where you blacken in the circle. And now, as of this past Friday March 10, we hear the great news that the State finally(too late for most counties) certified the handicapped accessible device that accompanies the optical scanner, This ballot marker,Automark, would guarantee compliance with Title III HAVA mandates for handicapped accessibility. .Cost?- reasonable, perhaps not fire sale cost of touchscreens rejected for malfunctioning in other states. But such an optical scanner is a solid deal that, most importantly protects our vote. Counties and states across the nation have chosen precinct based optical scanners for years as a reliable choice, with recount capability. Not the latest gadget, not profitable for manufacturers? No, but a solid choice that Bucks County can be proud of until the day when electronic touchscreen machines are proven accurate before they are tried out on the populace..
To show support and to seek solace from fellow weary travelers in this battle, not merely for the right machine, but for our vote and thus for our democracy, join fellow citizens tonight, Tuesday March 14 for an evening of recommitment to our American principles .Re enactors for Early American Patriots will meet 21st Century Americans at the Courthouse 5:30 pm and proceed to Borough Hall at 6 pm for an open house of conversation, music, fun and educational, interactive activities, refreshments,
Here in Bucks County, let 's smell the fragrance of homemade bread of citizen involvement and revitalization of our American principles. Let 's not accept the admittedly, stale, moldy bread of dry government policy and convoluted, conflicting bureaucracy and corporate power.
Stand up and be counted as we protect our vote, our democracy and our right to representational governance... for you, for your children and grandchildren. To survive the massive, nationwide onslaught on our vote, this democracy needs you!
Ruth E. Matheny
Co founder www.coalitionforvotingintegrity.org