Our elections must be secure
At long last, the U.S. Senate held closed-door briefings this month on election security. Unfortunately, the prospects for Congress passing any election security updates don't look any better than they did before the briefings. America will have to move on without them. But at the most fundamental level, elections aren't run by the federal government, but by the states. One easy step they can take to help secure their elections is to adopt Automatic Verification and Registration, a modernization to the election system that updates voter rolls continuously. It not only makes it harder to interfere in elections, but it saves time and money that can be redirected toward other election security measures. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have already implemented the system, and the more that join them, the safer our elections will be. Don't wait on Washington. Start securing our elections in Tallahassee.
The writer is advisory board chair of the Secure Elections Project, former Kentucky secretary of state, and former president of the National Association of Secretaries of State.
Who you gonna call? | July 18
Florida man makes good
So a Florida man is hired to save Chicago from an alligator named Chance the Snapper. It's a head-scratcher for outsiders, but a proud moment for Floridians. This time, "Florida man" didn't accidentally shoot himself while showering or indulge in any other behavior typical of the "Florida man" genre. Instead, trapper Frank Robb seamlessly caught Chance in full view of animal control professionals and curious Chicago bystanders, and it was a real treat to read. The story replaced space typically used to reveal more bad decisions by close-minded Tallahassee politicians. It's good to see that for once Florida is at the forefront of demonstrating how it can help others. Given a "Chance," maybe Florida can be better again.
Darryl David, St. Petersburg
Trump's North Carolina rally
The chants are chilling
Rally chants of "Send her back" — and before that, "Lock her up" — should send chills down our spines. Too bad there isn't anybody here from the democracies that were around in 1932 Germany or 1920 Italy that we can ask.
Rick Rhodes, St. Petersburg
'Hidden Figures' and Apollo
President Donald Trump picked quite a time to rant about women of color. We are in the middle of celebrating the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, which could not have happened without NASA's quite brilliant women of color. The movie Hidden Figures deserves to be seen by all this week, especially since we have a president who believes America's greatest achievement is his own existence.
E. Race, Port Richey
Trump, this is not your house | Column, July 18
Up with complete sentences
Leonard Pitts' column was eloquent and timely. He is able to express his views in complex and complete sentences and paragraphs, and his reasoning and logic to get his point across go far beyond anything President Donald Trump could state.
Adele Digiovanna, Palm Harbor