Florida to Shift Voting System With Paper Trail

I saw this coming years ago…

From, ug, the ny times:

Gov. Charlie Crist announced plans on Thursday to abandon the touch-screen voting machines that many of Florida’s counties installed after the disputed 2000 presidential election. The state will instead adopt a system of casting paper ballots counted by scanning machines in time for the 2008 presidential

Voting experts said Florida’s move, coupled with new federal voting legislation expected to pass this year, could be the death knell for the paperless electronic touch-screen machines. If as expected the Florida Legislature approves the $32.5 million cost of the change, it would be the nation’s biggest repudiation yet of touch-screen voting, which was widely embraced after the 2000 recount as a state-of-the-art means of restoring confidence that every vote would count.

Several counties around the country, including Cuyahoga in Ohio and Sarasota in Florida, are moving toward exchanging touch-screen machines for ones that provide a paper trail. But Florida could become the first state that invested heavily in the recent rush to touch screens to reject them so sweepingly.

Other states that rushed to buy the touch-screen machines are also abandoning them. Earlier this week, the Virginia Senate passed a bill that would phase out the machines as they wore out, and replace them with optical scanners. The Maryland legislature also seems determined to order a switch from the paperless touch screens, though it is not clear yet if it will require the use of optical scanners or just allow paper printers to be added to the touch screens.

On Monday, Representative Rush D. Holt, Democrat of New Jersey, plans to introduce a bill in Congress that would require all voting machines nationwide to produce paper records through which voters can verify that their ballots were recorded correctly. A majority of House members have endorsed the proposal, and the changes have strong support among Senate Democrats. Mr. Holt’s bill would also substantially toughen the requirements for the touch-screen machines that have printers, and experts say this could give even more impetus to the shift toward the optical scanning systems.

It really is old, being right so often and having so few people listening. I am actually tired of being right! I want to be wrong! I could never understand the idiocy around the 2000 election and then the dang stupidity about making elections by electronic device.

Well, I am starting to be proven right again and again, I am not happy about being right.

One Response

  1. Go Florida! Alabama uses the simplest and quickest ballot I’ve ever seen … in essence, all you do is connect two dots for each position on the ballot, then feed it into a scanner. Cheap, quick, leaves a paper trail … and the scanner beeps, honks, and kicks one in the ass if one screws up the ballot so a poll worker can take the moron off to the side for remedial training … in English.

    On the basis of economics alone, the touch screen was a non-starter.

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