To the Editor:

Town meetings are a failure of the democratic process. Kind of opposite from what I heard at the town meeting of March 1. Town Meetings represent a small proportion of the town's voters. At town meetings some people wish to publicly present their views. Nothing wrong with that position. Some people do not wish to publicly present their views. Nothing wrong with that position either. But only an Australian ballot offers every eligible voter the right to choose.

A town meeting vote, without voter identification, is wrong. It is wrong and should be invalid. Major issues are decided by a hand count without any identification at all. An example was the March 1st vote on the article "placing all voted appropriations $2,500 and above on an Australian ballot." The article was defeated by a hand count. When enough people protested the article was put on a paper or Australian ballot. In order to vote on the paper ballot each voter had to identify themselves on the voter registration. The article was then passed.

What happened? Why did the vote count change by more than twenty votes? Someone might say the nay voters left. If they left they choose not to vote.

The Australian ballot with proper identification of eligible voters is the only truly democratic way to go. Whether you want to speak at town meetings or not.

Richard T. Liell

Manchester