Thursday, January 19, 2012

State should waive ID fee and require proof to vote

The following is my letter to the editor of the Cape Cod Times published on January 19, 2012.

There is simply no reasonable argument against presenting identification at the polls. 
To register to vote, the secretary of state requires acceptable identification that includes the name and the address at which one is registered to vote. Examples include a current and valid driver's license, photo identification, current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, government check, or other government document showing name and address. 
I support allowing the same to be used at the polls and a waiver of the $25 fee for acquiring a state-issued photo ID. No doubt that removal of these "impediments" to vote would spur a second round of disenfranchisement scenarios, exposing the real motivation of people intent on maintaining the free-for-all at our polling places. 
Randy Hunt
East Sandwich

To anyone who claims that voter fraud is not happening, or is so rare that it is not an issue: The fact is that we cannot know the extent of voter fraud in Sandwich, the commonwealth or the country when we do nothing to ensure that only registered, living voters are voting. I could claim that everyone obeys the speed limit on Route 6 because I’ve never bothered to check. It doesn’t make it true.

But let me give you a better example that is supported by before-and-after statistics. In 1987, the IRS initiated a change to Form 1040, adding boxes to include the social security numbers of dependents, which they then ran against the SSA’s database to match up. Seven million dependents that were reported in 1986 miraculously vanished in 1987. Many argued before this change that there were probably occurrences of fraudulently reported dependents, but that it was not widespread and didn’t rise to the level that necessitated this change.

Weigh in on this issue by voting in the poll at the right.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sometimes bigger AND smaller is better

DEC RL01 disk drive
Cleaning out the garage the other day, I unearthed a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) RL01 disk. I wrote the list of contents on the label in 1981 and it made me think about how far we've come since then relative to disk/flash memory storage.

This 12-inch, single platter storage disk holds 5.2 megabytes of data. To provide some perspective, my 16 gigabyte iPod Nano, which is the size of a computer chip (including the hi-res screen), holds approximately 3,150 times more data than the RL01.

DEC RL01 disk with 5.2 megabyte capacity

iPod Nano with 16 gigabyte capacity