Archive for Thursday, December 2, 2004

Voting backup

December 2, 2004

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To the editor:

Kansas has recently stated electronic voting machines will be used by the 2008 election. After the 2000 election, a bipartisan national commission on federal election reform co-chaired by former presidents Ford and Carter was formed to examine and recommend possible changes in our federal voting system.

The electronic voting machine recommended was one that operates somewhat like an ATM machine. A citizen fills out their ballot on the computer touch screen then presses an OK button. The computer then prints two paper receipts of the ballot, one given to the voter so they may review their vote and the other kept with the machine as a backup in case of a recount or equipment breakdown.

I see that thousands of machines with no paper trail are being purchased throughout the country. If we can have millions of computers run everyday things from ATMs to gas pumps that have a paper trail and supply the user with a printed receipt of the transaction, it seems obvious that voting machines should do the same. Can anyone supply an argument why they shouldn't?

Once a state buys voting machines without a paper backup I doubt they would replace these machines until they wear out.

Let's hope Kansas buys the machines with paper backup. If not, let the governor and secretary of state explain why not. I urge all citizens to voice their opinions on this matter to their elected representatives.

Ernie Fantini,

Lawrence

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