Archive for Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Verifiable votes

Many local voters will be glad that the county’s new voting system will preserve paper ballots.

November 29, 2005


It's good news that Douglas County commissioners are looking favorably on a voting system that will preserve paper ballots.

County Clerk Jamie Shew recommended Monday that the county purchase new voting equipment and have it in place for next August's primary to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act. However, Shew said he couldn't recommend a touchscreen system that would rely solely on electronic results. Instead, he favors a system in which voters would mark paper ballots and then place them in scanners that would be located at each polling place.

The scanners would allow mismarked ballots to be identified immediately so the voter could cast a corrected ballot on the spot. The polling place scanners should provide election results faster than having all ballots counted at a central location after the polls close.

And, perhaps the best news is that $460,850 in federal funding plus money in a reserve fund created several years ago for this purpose will cover the full cost of the new system, which will cost more than $855,000.

Many communities may trust their voting to a paperless system, but recent recounts have made Douglas County wary. Voting is too important not to provide the most reliable and secure system possible. Keeping the paper ballots is a matter of better safe than sorry.


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