Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Letters To The Editor

Sunday’s letters: Florida should adopt universal voting by mail

Story referenced | Date it ran


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Letter writer, City

Vote centers could sprout for elections | June 5

Better idea: universal mail voting

It’s time for universal voting by mail.

The process couldn’t be simpler. Voter guides are sent out a few weeks before an election, followed by ballots a few days later. There are also many drop-off boxes into which one can place ballots.

The benefits are numerous. States that have universal voting by mail — there are only three: Colorado, Washington and Oregon — save millions of dollars by not having polling stations or polling staff. Long lines are eliminated. There is no need to run two different election processes, one for mail-in voting and one for in-person voting. Voter turnout is higher, by eight or more percentage points, especially by young, elderly, disabled and minority voters.

Also benefiting are those voters who work two or more jobs and cannot take time off to vote during regular voting hours. Finally, it would help college students, who were recently prevented by the state from early voting on a state college campus.

The system is nearly immune to voter fraud, as every vote leaves a paper trail, unlike voting machines and ballots that are easily tampered with. Every signature is verified by elections staffers; there is a unique barcode on envelopes; there is a privacy envelope in addition to the outer envelope that voters sign; and cameras are in every election office to prevent tampering once ballots are returned. Voters can check online to make sure their ballot was received.

Universal voting by mail works well in the states that have adopted it. Florida should do the same.

Gail Lowy, Largo

Declining fertility rate
worrisome | June 4, editorial

Having kids harder to justify

Another take on this editorial is that a low fertility rate is a good thing. If Americans were valued, we would have decent health care, free college or vocational training and paid child leave. We would be pro-family and pro-women and sincerely mean it.

As a parent of two millennials, I have told them to think long and hard about having children. This is not the best time to have kids as long as our country does not values its citizens. If we can’t provide decent health care to everyone, why have children? If college students have massive debt, how can they afford to have kids? Child care is extremely expensive, so why have kids if all your money goes to paying someone else to raise them?

Our country is being anti-female by trying to limit a woman’s right to choose, and now we want to limit their access to contraceptives. As a female, the very thought of trying to take away a woman’s right to birth control is quite irritating. If a woman cannot make these most important decisions for herself, why should she even want to have kids?

We’re not exactly looking like the can-do country we were in the past. We worry too much over money and not enough about making life better for every American. So why have kids?

Karen Hodgen, St. Petersburg

Today’s America
is an unhinged society | June 7, column

Ruth keeps us laughing

Thank you, Daniel Ruth, for your laugh out loud column on America’s unhinged society.

This was particularly insightful as my wife and I just returned from a 10-day hiking trip in northern Spain, away from the barrage of U.S. media. To be thrust back into it felt disorienting to say the least.

I suppose Americans become accustomed to it just as the frog does in slowly boiling water. The boiling frog story is generally offered as a metaphor cautioning people to be aware of change lest they suffer eventual undesirable consequences.

Thankfully we have a free press in this country that encourages writers like Ruth to keep us reminded of the change that is before us.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

Unhinged? Says who?

I quit reading Daniel Ruth’s column a long time ago, but this one really stood out to me. He’s absolutely right. The headline was "Today’s America is an unhinged society" and Ruth is truly proof of that!

Daniel B. Pope, Sr., Bradenton

Iran aid plan kept secret | June 7

Obama’s betrayal revealed

It amuses and saddens me that this headline came days after you printed an article titled "Maybe Obama was just too good for us."

Now people can see that Obama was playing buddy-buddy with Iran, which is definitely an enemy to all free countries and, in turn, was outright lying to the American public.

It makes one wonder exactly what his true thoughts were and how he deceived the American public. This man definitely had different intentions than the rest of us for preserving the American way of life. In this case, he sold out what we stand for and what our service members have fought and died for.

Bill Schellhaas, South Pasadena

New Floridian section

Perspective is needed

One of my great Sunday pleasures has been reading the Perspective section of the paper. When you decided to stop that section, I was sure you would include the material in another section. You didn’t! I thought I missed it, so I asked some of my friends about it. They are as dismayed as I am.

I enjoy reading about the activities available in the Tampa Bay area, and I like to read the sports, comics and local news, but we all NEED Perspective.

Where are the opinions of nationally recognized columnists? Where can we read both sides of the issues? How can we make informed decisions if you don’t give us the information?

Please give us back Perspective.

Linda Thies, Dunedin

Rays stadium

What matters is who pays

Let the Rays go to Tampa or anywhere else they choose. However, let the millionaire owners and players pay for their own playground. All other businesses have to pay for their own property and buildings. Why not the sports teams?

Dewain Morgan, Plant City


Tuesday’s letters: Keep programs that fight AIDS

For author Biden, it’s a father’s gift | June 6Keep programs that fight AIDSAfter former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent visit to St. Petersburg, I noticed an article that he co-wrote with former Sen. Bill Frist. It reminded everyone about the ...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Is anyone watching the money?Hernando County’s budget shortfall is ever changing going from $6 million to $11.5 million to $14 million to what is assumed a final number of $12.6 million. Who knows the budget shortfall could change again.Who’s watchi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Re: County OKs solar zones | June 8Plea ignored at solar plant hearingThe Pasco County Commission on June 5 voted to identify a utility-sized solar electric plant as a "special exception" use on agricultural-zoned land in Pasco County. What thi...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Monday’s letters: Skip those plastic bags and save the environment

To save our seas, overcome congressional apathy | Column, June 16Do your part and skip plastic bagsEvery day we read about the shame of our landfills and oceans filling up with plastic bags, yet most people don’t care. My wife and I always carry ...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/18/18

White House defends splitting up families as ‘biblical’ | June 15The suffering of the childrenI am a mother and attorney with more than 20 years of practice living in Tampa. For the past three years, I worked as a magistrate in a Unified Family C...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Saturday’s letters: Community-based care requires community involvement

Fix foster care, and do it quickly | Editorial, June 15Involve the community itselfWhile the detailed article about the scathing state review of Hillsborough County’s foster care problems touched on leadership, a critical point was not addressed....
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Friday’s letters: Freight trains are infrastructure that works in Tampa Bay

Railroads are infrastructure that worksFreight trains carry the loadCentral Florida is our state’s fastest-growing region. We’re on track to outpace South Florida’s growth 2-to-1 over the next several years. Great news for our local economy, but it n...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Thursday’s letters: Charter schools aren’t the enemy

Don’t plug your ears when schools ask for tax | May 20, columnCharter schools aren’t the enemyAs an educator, I am astounded when I hear claims from school board members that charter schools take away funding from the local public school system. ...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/14/18

Wednesday’s letters: Trump’s words insult our Canadian visitors

Trade disputes torpedo G-7 summit | June 10Canadian visitors are owed apologyLike many Pinellas County residents, I’m pleased that we receive thousands of Canadian "snow birds" as part-year residents. Not only do they enhance our economy, but by ...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/13/18

Hernando Letters to the Editor for June 15

Opinion: Commissioners arrogant and incompetentMy wife and I live in Hernando County. As such, we are represented by a Board of County Commissioners where all the members manifest two common traits. Those traits are arrogance and incompetence.The arr...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/12/18