To the Editor:

As Stalin famously said, "Those who cast the votes decide nothing; those who COUNT the votes decide everything."

So here we are, being exhorted to vote, without the slightest assurance and far less proof that our votes will get counted for the people we're trying to vote for.

With electronic voting machines, your vote can be electronically "flipped" to the candidate you thought you were voting against, and as long as the number of votes matches the number of voters, the fraud is completely undetectable. Only those who read the code know what it actually does, and not even elections officials are allowed to do that, by law, because the software running our voting machines is "proprietary," a trade secret. Somehow, in U.S. law, protecting trade secrets trumps election integrity.

Any ballots cast in advance have, by definition, a broken chain-of-custody: Those ballots can be altered or replaced entirely as soon as the voter leaves. The ballots cast in person also have broken chains-of-custody, since even the poll workers can't prove that the machine was empty when it entered the polling place or that nothing happened to the ballots in it after it left. We don't even rate independent exit polls, standard procedure for monitoring accurate vote-counts worldwide.

SO, is it better to attempt voting and risk having your votes handed to the people you were trying to vote against or to not vote at all? IMHO the exhortations to vote show that Those In Charge NEED our participation in this exercise in futility, in order to claim that we have any semblance to a democracy and so they can blame us when we get a raft of politicians who refuse to represent OUR interests.

If we're to get representatives who represent US, we have to take over the vote-counting ourselves — which is currently illegal.

JILL HERENDEEN

Lyons

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