Printed letters, Sept. 19, 2010

Don’t sweep voter fraud under the rug

Requiring photo identification and proof of eligibility to vote prevents voter fraud. Incumbent Bernie Buescher should embrace, not oppose, these reforms.

Examples of voter fraud are abundant, even in Colorado. For example, last year 16 people voted illegally in an El Paso County special district recall election that failed by a mere six votes.

And in the past, Colorado prosecuted ACORN workers for voter registration fraud.

Unfortunately, voter impersonation is hard to detect. According to the Electoral Knowledge Network, which is sponsored by several U.N. agencies, the best defense is accurate voter lists and rigorous voter identity control.

Likewise, in 2005 the Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by Jimmy Carter, recommended photo identification as one of five pillars for fair elections. Former Secretary of State Mike Coffman said it was an “embarrassment” that Colorado does not have photo identification.

I don’t often cite U.N. agencies or Jimmy Carter, but their views show that opposition to photo ID is an example of liberal extremism.

Photo identification works. It prevents fraud, increases confidence, and not one valid study shows reduced voter turnout. Claims that senior citizens fear photo ID are yet more scare tactics. Ask elderly friends and relatives if they fear photo ID. I’ll bet they overwhelmingly support it.

Proof of citizenship for new registrants also keeps voter lists clean. In 2005 the Government Accounting Office found in just one judicial district that 3 percent of all jurors called from voting roles were non-citizens. There is a problem.

Colorado has work to do. Those 16 illegal voters in the recall election? The local district attorney refused to prosecute, and Buescher’s office did nothing.

Prevention is key. Houses burn down, so we buy smoke alarms and insurance before disaster strikes. Likewise, voter fraud exists. We need a secretary of state who will take action — not defend tired, worn-out policies.

SCOTT GESSLER

Candidate for Secretary of State

Denver

Clean up Lake Powell, don’t end motorized use

The Sept. 12 column by Andrew Gulliford stated that Lake Powell trash brings a call for non-motorized use. By this logic, automobile accidents would bring a call for the elimination of cars, and alcoholism for the abolition of alcohol (oh, wait a minute, they did that once already).

Bless him for his dedication for the cleaning up for the environmental sins of its visitors. We all have done that at one time or another. I’m approaching 30 years of experience visiting the lake and have noted good as well as bad changes also.

Lake Powell has blessed us with many pleasant memories for our families and friends, thanks to the Bureau of Reclamation’s management for the water we need and use. Millions have enjoyed this environment, as opposed to many fewer who choose to paddle rather than motor.

But then it’s let’s drain the lake so the hikers can return. Oh, and don’t forget those buggy whips.

Let’s deal with the realities of an increasing population on this orb, and deal with the few who choose to pollute the lake, generally out of total ignorance.

Just as many people patrol our highways and pick up the paddlers’ trash that blows out of their vehicles, those dedicated to enjoying the lake will continue to pick up others’ trash. I do it and yes, I grumble. But the wind does blow at Lake Powell, and trash will collect on the shores. Get a bag, pick it up and enjoy the creation.

Lake fees need to be increased so services of lake patrol and clean management can return. The National Park Service is restricted by previously limited funds and now no funds to patrol and enforce the elimination of human waste in the canyons. Remember, we get what we pay for.

STEVEN L. KING

Grand Junction

Where was the respect for victims of Sept. 11?

I am completely infuriated, disgusted and overwhelmed with sadness at the lack of respect that this city showed toward the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Only a few flags were set at half-staff, and hardly anyone remembered what the day was. No one looked sad or grieving for all of those who died and for those who lost a loved one that day.

The lack of patriotism that this city showed was appalling. The day was hard for my family and me because we lost a dear family member. His name is Tom Burnett. He was one of the few men who stood up on Flight 93 against the terrorists and crashed the plane in that Pennsylvania field.

The events of 9/11 will haunt my family and me for the rest of our lives, as it should for the rest of the citizens who live in this country. People all should be ashamed of themselves. Show some respect for the dead and for those who were affected by this tragic event.

JESSICA BEARD

Grand Junction



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