By John Gideon on 2/12/2007, 5:06pm PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon of

The Orlando Sentinel opines, “Such controversies [Jennings-Buchanan] have added impetus to calls nationwide to require paper trails for electronic voting. But printers on a touch-screen machine wouldn't prevent software problems or tampering that could taint the results. Florida's experience with touch-screen voting has shown that operating the machines properly has been beyond the technical abilities of some poll workers. Printers could introduce a new set of mechanical problems. What happens if the paper jams, or the toner runs out? Meanwhile, optical-scan is a low-tech system that produces ballots that can be recounted by hand to verify election results. Rather than require states with electronic-voting machines to add a paper trail, Congress should be encouraging them to follow Florida, and cut their losses.” We agree.

A Portland [Maine] Press-Herald columnist says, “Legislation to this effect was introduced in the House of Representatives this past week, and companion legislation is being prepared in the Senate. The proposed Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act does not, however, solve the problems of confusion, intimidation and machine malfunction generated by touch-screen technology. Ultimately, the best overall solution may be a semi-automated one that combines traditional paper ballots with comparatively inexpensive optical scanners; it's the system already used successfully in Canada for national elections, as well as by all or part of 28 states in the United States. And it provides a reliable paper trail for those inevitable recounts. Obviously, Diebold won't like it. Too bad; it's our democracy.”...

  • NAtional: What's wrong with Holt II (HR 811) LINK
  • NAtional: Split Decision LINK
  • NAtional: Civil and Voting Rights Advocates Call on Congress for Significant Reform in Wake of 2006 Flawed Elections LINK
  • NAtional: Groups call for e-voting paper trail legislation LINK
  • NAtional: Voting System Standards: An Exchange with the IEEE LINK
  • FL: Editorial - A better way
    Our position: Congress should dump touch-screen voting for optical scan. LINK
  • IN: Can mailbox become new ballot box?
    Amendment expected today would phase in option for Indiana voters LINK
  • KY: Tight primary brings question: Is runoff election worth it? LINK
  • ME: Columnist - It's time to pull the plug on high-tech voting systems LINK
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