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IN OUR OPINION

"One chant heard from the front of the Supreme Court building during the Bush appeal Friday morning is troubling us. Concede on CNN, a crowd of pleasant, middle-aged women was shouting stridently. Is that what choosing our President has now become-a sound bite chant moment for CNN? Remember the old question, If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound? If it's not a sound bite on CNN, is it really news? Decisions concerning the Presidency of the most powerful nation in the world should not be determined by well-intended ladies chanting on television. Decisions concerning the leadership of our country should be made in the secret, sacred privacy of a voter's booth. The privacy and power of that vote is the most effective single tool we have to preserve our liberties. Anything that threatens the safety and accuracy of your vote, or the vote of even one of our neighbors in Florida, threatens all of us. Altering or evaluating the complex process of verifying the accuracy of an election isn't the job of a nice woman with a sign, or CNN, or NBC, or ABC, or (gasp) even the newspaper. Those decisions need to be made carefully and thoughtfully by elections officials, Canvassing Boards and, if necessary by the courts and Congress. Rushing (and chanting) is simply not required. By the way, very quietly, in the background, you may have heard that Canada held their own election this week. They voted, they counted, they had a winner and they're done. Just like that. Want to know how they voted and counted? Every Canadian voter is given a ballot that has the candidates for each office listed in alphabetical order. To vote for a candidate, the voter makes an X in the box next to the candidate of their choice. At the end of the voting day, the precinct workers manually tally all the X marks, create a total and report their number. (Ironically, the Canadian counting system is very much like what we used to have in Kitsap.) If a system such as this had been in place throughout the country, our Presidency would be determined by now. In the meantime, the safeguards and processes embedded in the Constitution have allowed us the privilege of unsorting the confusion while the country continues to function smoothly. But, that's not a CNN sound bite, so maybe it's not really happening at all. "

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