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MichaelHammerschlag††† ††††††††W R I T I N G S††††

Senator Lincoln Chafee

10 Dorrance St.

Providence, RI 02903


Dear Senator,


We met at the Watson Cuba Conference. Here are some of my last articles about Deanís demise and the coming Iraq Civil War. Kudos for saying you wouldnít vote for GB2, hope you consider switching parties when the maniacs of your party start to trash the Constitution (like limiting filibusters ).


I believe the election system is broken, with partisan Sec. of States able to twist the rules enough to throw the election to their candidate, which maybe happened again in Ohio. From 50,000-100,000 people gave up and went home, confronted with insanely long lines- up to 10 hours- after deliberate limiting of voting machines in inner city and Democratic areas, due to the machinations of Kenneth Blackwell and the Ohio Congress, which had consolidated districts so many many peoples voting precinct changed. If they voted in the wrong one their vote didnít count, unlike last election.


With our wild patchwork of election laws and standards, itís inevitable that confusion and mistakes and partisan manipulation reigns. Maybe the solution is a Federal Election Service, strictly independent of either party (like the GAO), appointed by life by ĺ of the Congress. They would standardize voting forms, procedures, practices, and hours across the country; like every other country that has a good voting system. Of course, the Republicans, having gamed the system with insecure unverifiable voting machines, have little incentive now to change. Still, after the miserable 2000 election, itís an outrage that partisan SoSís can still jimmy the voting with arbitrary roadblocks and corrupt tactics, and that we went from the pan (with punch cards) to the furnace (with paperless computer voting machines).


Why donít you craft and introduce such a bill. It might not pass, but it would put the issue out there, glean you added publicity and respect, and over the years, be seen as the right course- as the horror stories of our patchwork election system keep arising. It would also make quite a statement that it was introduced by a Republican, a party that used to care intensely about stopping election fraud. We are the oldest democracy- we should act like it.