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Proud of ACORN/Unhappy with Covington Voting

By Readers · November 12th, 2008 · Letters

Proud of ACORN

ACORN, one of the nation’s largest community organizing groups, has been in the mainstream of community organizing for 38 years — with more than 400,000 members.

ACORN has repeatedly stood with working families to make stronger, safer and more just communities. They’ve made a positive impact and instilled hope with commitment, sincerity and integrity. Their victories working with everyday people speak for themselves.

I’ve been proud of all the organizing and citizen empowerment that ACORN has accomplished here in Cincinnati. — Brian Garry, Clifton

Unhappy With Covington Voting

Despite media projections of record high voter turnout, my polling place — located in a low-income neighborhood in largely Democratic Covington — didn’t add a single voting machine this year to the two normally set up for me and my neighbors to use on election days.

This lack of accommodation would itself have been enough to frustrate some would-be voters from casting a ballot, but it was made immeasurably worse by the fact that one of these two voting machines — the one with an ability to reproduce voter choices if a recount became necessary — was taken out of service as soon as the polls opened. Poll workers explained it wasn’t counting votes for state senator when a voter chose the straight party-line option on the ballot, a glitch they found curious, even mystifying, because the machine had worked fine during practice runs, failing only when voters began arriving at the polls.

The other machine, the one we were ultimately forced to use, had the ability to reproduce vote totals only and no ability to reproduce a record of individual voting choices. As such, it wouldn’t be able to verify whether or not the votes cast at my polling place and at all of the other affected polling places in Covington were properly recorded.

But even if it did record votes correctly — something we’ll never know — it was still the only operational machine in a polling station used to a much smaller voter turnout. Gaining access to the voting booth took about 40 minutes while I was there, long enough for at least one person, after standing in line behind me for about a half hour, to leave without casting his vote. — Sean McDonald, Covington



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