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Letters to the editor

November 17, 2006

Voting process marred by mixup



To the editor:

I am 89 years old and have been voting in every election since the 1930s. I had applied for an absentee ballot since I am a resident at Fahrney-Keedy Home. The ballot never arrived, but I had received the sample ballot with my ID number and information to vote at Greenbriar School. So I drove down on Tuesday, figuring that my ID number and name would be sufficient identification.

However, I was informed that I could not vote because I had applied for an absentee ballot and that there was the possibility of a double vote on my part.

It was then explained that the only way I could vote would be by provisional ballot. What this means is that you are issued forms to fill out providing repetitive information just as a new voter would. I finally filled in the ballot by filling in all the oblong circles with pencil.

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The next operation was casting the ballot. The so-called ballot box was the size of a brief case with a brass zipper and flanked by two metal strips on either side that made it extremely difficult to pry open. It took the efforts of myself and a poll worker to open it far enough to force the envelope and info sheet inside. This is the first time in my long life that it has taken four hands to cast a ballot.

To sum things up, there are two discrepancies I had to deal with:

First, the election board failed to send me the absentee ballot. But did inform the poling place that I had received one.

The second dealt with casting the ballot into a receptacle that defies acceptance.

I am not implying any criticism to the people manning the polling station. They treated me with the utmost courtesy and respect.

Howard W. Amos
Boonsboro




Board race was a good one



To the editor:

First, I would like to thank all those concerned voters who cast their vote for youth and fitness. Even though I did not get voted in, I feel that I brought some concerns to the Board of Education that need to be addressed.

I would like to see the BOE include a second physical education elective. Recesses need to be brought back and middle schools need the track and cross country programs brought back. With that said, I would like to congratulate the Clear Spring boys and Smithsburg girls cross country teams on their state championships. I know all the cross-country runners in the county work hard to improve and to be their best.

Second, I would like to congratulate Ruth Anne Callaham, Paul Bailey and William Staley on being elected to the BOE. They are three very worthy individuals of many years of experience. Jacqueline Fischer and Virginia Powers also ran very noteworthy campaigns. I believe all six of us have the students' well-being in mind. I feel all brought different backgrounds and ideas to the board.

Third, I would like to thank the persons and groups responsible for the forums. We had HCC, League of Women Voters and Antietam Cable with the two televised forums, Boonsboro CAC, Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Council of PTAs , Washington County Retired Administrators, WCTA and the building community.

Finally, I would like to congratulate the elected officials in the other offices. All ran good campaigns, had good ideas and were very responsive to the public. I wish everyone success in their new official capacities.

Wayne Kretzer Jr.
Hagerstown




Sound familiar?



To the editor:

From The Morning Herald's editorial page, Oct. 26; National Viewpoint, Trudy Rubin, Philadelphia Inquirer: "Saving Iraq, Saving Bush equally tough missions." The column concerns the awaited report of the bipartisan Iraq study group, co-chaired by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.

This is a quote: "George W. was never fond of his father's friend, who is a foreign policy realist with no illusions about the Mideast region. Indeed Baker has harshly criticized Bush's Iraq policy in his new autobiography, "Work Hard, Study and Keep Out of Politics!"

Does that sound familiar? And if John Kerry was quoting, or misquoting from memory, to a group of students, might there not be a reason for not citing Baker as a source? The Iraq study group's report was not to be released until after the election.

Helen Shaffer
Chambersburg, Pa.

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