Paper Ballots Rock the Vote

Touch screens decline; 55% of US will have choice read by scanner
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2008 5:58 PM CDT
Political party supporters watch as election officials empty ballot boxes.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Paper ballots are making a comeback in many states after problems plagued electronic voting systems—thanks in large part to issues with Florida's hanging chads in 2000. At least 55% of US ballots in November will be cast on paper, then optically scanned, the Boston Globe reports. Security isn't expected to be a problem, but election workers unfamiliar with the technology could be.

"Inevitably, the biggest problems occur the first time you use new equipment," says an election expert. Touch-screen use is falling; Gov. Charlie Christ mandated optical scanners after widespread anomalies with touch-screen machines in Florida's 2006 elections. Ohio has also switched many of its machines after multiple irregularities in 2004.