Keep it simple | AspenTimes.com

Keep it simple

After their 2000 election fiasco, Florida taxpayers spent $100 million on fancy new touch-screen voting machines. As reported last week, their debut in the 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 in one news account 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’re 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. This is 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.

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Jim Redmond

Snowmass