Tuesday, November 28, 2006

PA lacks paper backup to voting electronically

Seriously, Pennsylvania should have fixed this long ago. If I recall correctly, Pennsylvania actually has a law that forbits the use of paper backup systems.

Really, how hard can this be? I grew up in Alabama. In Alabama, we used the scan-tron type fill in the bubble ballot. It was pretty straight forward. I don't recall it ever being a problem. Here's the way things should work:

You have an electronic voting machine. Just like the ones we use now, it handles your vote for each election, making sure you didn't miss any elections, etc. Then, instead of simply recording your vote, have the machine print out a scan-tron type ballot. Then, the voter can take the ballot, look over it to make sure that everything is correct, and then feed it to the scan-tron machine and walk out. Something wrong on the ballot? Simply tell a poll worker who will cancel the old ballot and let you start the process over.

This way, you get to vote electronically (which everyone seems to like), yet you have a voter verified paper trail. Because the computer printed the ballot, there are no problems of hanging chads or other such nonsense.

It seems like such a simple concept; can this really be that difficult?

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