This week I reviewed new voting equipment under consideration by Rockwall County Commissioners Court.
I prefer paper because there is a means to recount votes independently of electronic equipment and therefore election results are not a risk of being lost.
Other Rockwall County voters prefer the ease of electronic voting.
Rockwall County Elections Administrator Chris Lynch has found the perfect solution that satisfies the preferences of both kinds of voters.
There is a machine for marking your ballot but it stores no results and therefore it cannot be tampered with to compromise an election. The machine as buttons much like the old electronic voting machines.
The voter inserts a blank paper ballot into the printing machine.
Here’s how the voting process works.
- The voter inserts a blank paper ballot (see figure 1) into the printing machine.
- The voter marks his ballot using electronic buttons (see figure 2).
- Before printing the paper ballot, voter reviews his or her selections and presses a button to proceed to print a ballot.
- As wth the old paper ballots, voter then takes his or her printed ballot to a ballot reader.
- That’s all there is to it. (1) Choices were made via a keypad on the electronic ballot printer. (2) Voter sees very clearly how he or she voted by reading the printed ballot. If a voter finds a mistake, the voter can request a new ballot and repeat step (1) above. (3) Satisfied his or her ballot is correct, the voter next inserts the printed paper ballot into the ballot reader.
- The printed ballot falls into a ballot box after being read by the ballot reader. In case a recount is needed, the paper ballots have been saved. Yes, we can reliably recount votes!
I tested the process and it satisfies me completely.
A major feature of this system apart from the preservation of the integrity of elections is the economics. All ballots are blank. This means the Elections Office does not have waste to toss away. The system is easily reconfigured for the next election thereby alleviating the need for additional machines and supplies.
It’s also important to realize that all machines become obsolete and our present voting equipment approaches the end of useful life.