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America's patchwork system of elections invites voter fraud paranoia. Congress should fix that.

America's patchwork system of elections invites voter fraud paranoia. Congress should fix that.
Boxes of ballots waiting to be examined at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections office on Nov. 16. (Wilfredo Lee / AP)

To the editor: Our elections have always been a source of pride for Americans and admiration from many countries throughout the world. But the chaos, voter suppression and gerrymandering of late has put a blight on our reputation. Accusations of voter fraud from the president and others have not helped.

Our midterm election is a perfect example. It is time to have a standardized methodology where every state in the union is equal.

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Three states — Washington, Oregon and Colorado — conduct their elections exclusively by mail; most others have a mix of in-person and mail-in voting. Some states have electronic ballots that do not leave a paper trail.

Now is the time to have a serious discussion about action that Congress can take on polling places, ballot configuration and equipment. A citizen in one state should have the same opportunity as a citizen in another to vote.

Diane Welch, Cypress

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To the editor: Decades ago, a valid excuse was necessary to get an absentee ballot. It was considered our civic duty to be at the polling place on election day.

In 1978 the lines were out the door and down the block as voters passed Proposition 13 to save their homes from the taxman.

No more. Too lazy to go to the polls? Get a mail-in ballot. Too apathetic to re-register at a new address? Just ask for a provisional ballot.

It could easily be argued that our vibrant democracy died sometime after 1978.

Bob Munson, Newbury Park

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