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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Voting in L.A. shouldn’t be this complicated. Look at Australia

Voting in Los Angeles
Voters wait in an hours-long line to cast their ballot on Super Tuesday at the UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: May I suggest that before the next election is held, the powers that be in California send some of their officials here to Australia to see how cheaply and easily the voting process can be done? (“California officials demand changes to L.A. voting after election day chaos,” March 5)

I have been voting for almost 40 years and never had to wait more than 10 minutes in line to vote. There are three polling stations within a 15-minute walk of my house. Elections are always held on a Saturday, making it easier for pretty much everyone who works to vote.

There are no voting machines. My name is marked off a roll and I fill out a paper ballot. It takes about 30 seconds to do this.

At 6 p.m. the polling stations close and counting commences. Usually by about 9 p.m. the winners are known.

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Voting is compulsory and this is not considered an imposition by Australians to have to think for a few minutes about who governs us every four years. We are OK with it.

Simon Lonergan, Sydney, Australia

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To the editor: Keeping the polls open for more than a week is a great idea, but there are legitimate reasons why voters wait until Election Day. They may not have made up their minds, or they are waiting for the final debate, a late endorsement or some other event that informs their choice.

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So, to fix the problem of long lines on Election Day by November, I suggest sending a mail-in ballot to every registered voter even if they didn’t ask for it.

They could vote and mail it in early if they want, or they could wait until Election Day, fill it out and just drop it into secured guarded boxes at the polling station. They would not have to deal with long lines or malfunctioning touchscreens.

Furthermore, sending every voter a mail-in ballot encourages all citizens to make their voices heard in this democracy.

Steve Paskay, Los Angeles

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To the editor: We all just witnessed the latest folly of Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder Dean C. Logan, who just wasted $300 million of our money on yet another new “electronic” voting machine. Please, no more voting machines, no more polling or vote centers, and no more long lines.

And, while we are at it, no more chances for Logan.

Logan’s statement that it would not be easy to mail ballots to all voters is such hogwash. The county mails large sample ballots to all voters; just make those the final mail-in ballot.

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Moreover, it is long past time for California to adopt online voting as a very cost-effective voting method and provide it as another option for voters.

In summary, we should all be able to vote in one of two ways, over a three-week period, at our convenience and by our choice: either vote by mail, or online voting.

Jeff Drobman, Chatsworth


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