Prove accurate election with forensic audit

Several weeks ago a letter to the editor was submitted about how elections require detailed forensic audits to ensure they are accurate and free of fraud. There are thousands of documented witnessed incidents showing the 2020 election may not have been fraud fee.

The letter also demonstrated how Democrats and liberals oppose any effort to conduct in-depth forensic audits and will do anything they can to stop audits. Today’s computerized electronic election systems are extremely complex and reasonable people support detailed forensic audits to show the elections are fair and accurate.

Maricopa County officials have done everything they can to block the audit in Arizona. Cooperation by the audited agency is an audit requirement. If they are hostile, which they are, it is a red flag to dig into deeper detail and find out why they are not cooperating and whether they're hiding something. Anyone who has experienced audits knows this.

Thank you to the writer who wrote a letter of rebuttal. The writer demonstrated exactly the attitude described by calling names to anyone who supports the idea the election was not secure. It was quite the rant and exactly the hysterical attitude I'm referring to.

Of course, there was no mention of auditing the election to make sure it was accurate. Is it possible to have a reasonable discussion with this type of attitude? This is a perfect example of why there is such a severe political fracture destroying our country. Conservatives understand this. Liberals do not.

So, if the election was accurate, have some integrity and honesty and support honest third party forensic audits and prove it.

Jeffrey Bensen


Wearing a mask to stop spread

Here are three basic sentences to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Statement: There is a deadly airborne virus spreading rampantly and indiscriminately across our city, our county, our state, and our nation.

Question: How am I going to protect myself from becoming a victim of the this virus?

Answer: Even though I am already vaccinated (and have been for months), I am simply going to wear a mask.

Donna Biddle

Santa Maria

Using the law to address literacy gaps

Ensuring that all students learn to read, write and spell in school shouldn’t be a federal case. But sometimes that’s what it takes. The recent settlement proposal of a class-action suit against the Berkeley Unified School District offers a cautionary tale to school districts that fail to provide proper instructional approaches to struggling students.

The case, filed in the federal court for the Northern District of California by a team of pro bono law firms, contended that past and present students with dyslexia and other reading difficulties were discriminated against, and denied the Free Appropriate Public Education ensured by law.

The terms of the settlement require the district to screen students for dyslexia, provide appropriate classroom supports, and abandon the “balanced literacy” reading instruction approach they’ve been using for these students. The settlement also requires the district to submit to independent monitoring, consult with experts of national renown, and provide educators and administrators with appropriate professional development.

As the director of The Dyslexia Project in Santa Barbara for more than a decade, I have regularly encountered the same kind of issues experienced by students, parents and advocates in Berkeley.

Although dyslexia affects 20 percent of students, far more are struggling with literacy every day. The California Department of Education’s test results for California Assessments (pre-Covid) 2019 reveal only 47 percent of Santa Barbara County students met or exceeded grade-level standard in reading. These reading struggles not only prevent academic achievement as a child ages, but they also result in mental health struggles, including poor self-esteem, lack of confidence and a sense of shame that too-often lasts a lifetime.

Implementing the approaches specified in the legal settlement up north would address this low literacy rate in our community that is a foundational issue in so many social, emotional, and economic concerns. I can’t think of a better use of taxpayer funds, or way to ensure educational equity than for our schools to do a much better job helping children learn to read, so they can read to learn. It’s more than a moral imperative, it’s the law.

Cheri Rae

Santa Barbara