It is becoming more apparent day by day that there could be widespread fraud in the 2004 Presidential election. This is not conspiracy theory fomented by left-wing paranoia. This is acknowledged and discussed on mainstream media and by people involved in the elections.

It is not the Democrats who people fear will throw the election. It is the Bush administration and therefore, the Republican Party which is suspect. Every day we read another attempt to disqualify Democratic voter registrations or intimidate Democratic voters, and everyone understands the danger of the paperless voting machines manufactured by companies that give large donations to the Republican Party.

What is the magnitude of this situation? In my opinion, it is an acknowledgment that Bush and his cohorts stole the 2000 election. The fear that is felt throughout the nation that we will likely have another debacle is based on people knowing that it happened before and can happen again. But even more disturbing, it means that Republicans support and promote cheating at the highest level.

I am a life-long Democrat, but I remember when the Republican Party was made up of honorable people like Jacob Javits and Lowell Weicker, who may have differed with Democrats by their support for smaller government and more conservative viewpoints, but who I respected for their high ethical standards.

Evidently, this is not the Republican Party today. With all their talk about patriotism and values, they seem to close their eyes to the most fundamental right of Americans - a free and open election.

For those who are undecided about whom to support for President, think about what it means to a democracy if the people in power are willing to steal the election. And for those of you who are Republicans, ask yourselves if cheating to win is the legacy you want to leave for future generations.

Linda Orgel

Aberdeen

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