Letters to the Editor

This is Viewpoints for Sunday, September 2, 2018

Voters cast their ballots in Byron in this file photo.
Voters cast their ballots in Byron in this file photo. jvorhees@macon.com

Voting system change was an improvement

Bill Ferguson’s column on Aug. 26 unfortunately missed the mark on Georgia’s voting equipment.

I was the secretary of state who made the decision to change our state’s voting equipment after learning that Georgia lost almost 96,000 votes in the 2000 presidential election because of our antiquated voting systems. My decision came after the findings of the 21st Century Voting Commission, a bipartisan commission of state officials and local election experts who studied our voting systems for a full year.

The commission and my office found over-voting (selecting too many candidates), under-voting (selecting too few) and unreadable ballots (where a voter’s intent could not be determined). We found evidence that not all pens and pencils could be read by optical scanners. In fact, we found error rates that were higher on optical scan ballots than on some of the truly obsolete punch-card ballots or refrigerator-sized lever machines.

For these reasons, the commission recommended moving to a uniform electronic system that gave voters a chance to review all of their choices before leaving the voting booth – something our current system now provides. National studies showed that Georgia moved from the second worst state in voting accuracy to the second best after this change.

I’m pleased that new voting systems are now being studied. The overarching mandate for elections officials is to accurately count the intended votes for each candidates. It is a simple goal made much harder by what seems like a simple solution, paper-only voting.

Cathy Cox (Georgia secretary of state 1999-2007),


An exchange above

Lt. Commander John McCain: Permission to come aboard, sir?

His Lord God: Permission granted.

Wayne Welch,


What makes a real leader

I am moving about my day certain in the knowledge that we will all miss John McCain in our world. Not just my brothers, Gary and Doug, both Navy guys who revere the McCain name, not just Arizonans, for whom he had such great regard and respect, but for all who aspire to be something just a little better than we are, to find the strength and resolve to overcome the next obstacle and to, as he did, view our reactions to defeat or success as impediments to our better natures.

As Joe Biden said: “John McCain’s life is proof that some truths are timeless. Character. Courage. Integrity. Honor.”

What he did not say is that the man who today holds the office McCain aspired to, a person who arrogantly demands the attention of the nation and of the world, does not display or, more importantly, possess any of these qualities.

That realization makes a sad day all the more so.

Bob Carnot,

Warner Robins

“No” to PLO leader

PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat recently attacked the White House decision to cut more than $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority .He claimed that, “This is a flagrant declaration that the real aim of U.S. aid is to interfere in the internal affairs of other peoples and affect their national rights.”

A senior State Department official said that the $200 million in aid to the PA was cut following a review of how the funds were being used. These funds will be used for “high-priority projects elsewhere.” These funds were not spent in accordance with U.S. national interests and they provided little value to the US taxpayer.”

More than $400 million of the PA’s budget goes to the ‘Martyr’s Fund,” which provides payments to the families of terrorists— either jailed or dead.

I wouldn’t send a copper penny to a place where they chant “Death to America” and burn our flag.

Hill Kaplan,


Take action for Alzheimer’s care

I have to admit. I am dreading Oct. 1. My dad, just one of 527,000 caregivers in Georgia, has made the decision that he can no longer be the primary caregiver for my mom who has Alzheimer’s disease.

The turn of events the last few months has created the need for a Memory Unit care for this once vibrant individual. Instead, “wandering” outside day or night, endless requests to visit her deceased parents, her lack of stability that has resulted in several concussions is the norm. Some caregivers experience a quick progression and others, like my family, the downward spiral has taken 12 years. Congress has tuned in: I am very grateful for the passing of PCHETA, focused on quality of life for Alzheime’sr patients. But this is not enough.

Congress has another chance to take decisive action by passing the Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act (S. 2076/H.R. 4256). Endorsed by the Alzheimer’s Association, the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions, including increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations. It may be too late for this bill to help my mom, but for the millions that will come after her we must take action! Join me in asking Rep. Austin Scott, Sen. David Perdue and Sen. Johnny Isakson to fight for the millions of Americans affected by Alzheimer’s by sponsoring the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s.

Cynthia D. Davis,


Tale of two types of taxpayers

Well, it’s done. The hype for weeks over property tax increase is over. Of course, from the moment the first mention of tax increase to the public weeks ago it was already a done deal. The rest is all smokescreen having us taxpayers thinking we had a say. Two years and a 6 mil increase — well, what we going to do now? They got their consolidation and the county got hurt. After all, between city taxpayers and county taxpayers ,who you think pays the most in taxes? Most living in city limits are on government programs or rent. Therefore, no hard-working people’s money was taken out of their pocket. Macon and Bibb County, you are a joke, a big disgrace that is bleeding your citizens dry.

Brenda Carstarphen,


Labor Day thankfulness

I would like to thank President Trump for working hard to engage our labor force, although we have many working hard to support families in jobs not of their choice. Hopefully he will continue to promote new businesses from different types of sources, but never forgetting the veterans, homeless and all those refusing to work, of course. Let’s all use this Labor Day to also thank God for the privilege of laboring for our own and not just for government.

Faye W. Tanner,


Psalms for Trump

I keep hearing Trump supporters say we should pray for Mr. Trump.

I was reading Psalms today and I have to admit that I now totally agree. Psalms 109:8. “Let his days be few; and let another take his office …”

Carl Pirkle,