States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day.
With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return to the pencil-and-paper voting that the new technology was supposed to replace.
Nearly 70 percent of voters will be casting ballots by hand on Tuesday, according to Pamela Smith, president of election watchdog Verified Voting.
"Paper, even though it sounds kind of old school, it actually has properties that serve the elections really well," Smith said.
It’s an outcome few would have predicted after the 2000 election, when the battle over “hanging chads” in the Florida recount spurred a massive, $3 billion federal investment in electronic voting machines.
States at the time ditched punch cards and levers in favor of touch screens and ballot-scanners, with the perennial battleground state of Ohio spending $115 million alone on upgrades.
Smith said the mid-2000s might go down as the “heyday” of electronic voting.
Since then, states have failed to maintain the machines, partly due to budget shortfalls.
I work the polling station in my town in Alabama -- I'm the voting clerk: responsible to ensure that ballots are cast correctly so that every voter's vote is properly accounted for and tallied correctly. We use paper ballots with electro-optical 'mark sense' counting machines to keep the running tabs ... our procedures require frequent checks to compare the machine count of votes cast with the number of ballots dispensed to & signed for by the voters.
We recently changed from a 'fill in the arrow' that points to your candidate system to a fill in the bubble by your candidate's name ... every candidate's name, party and office sought are set in 30 pt type, each candidate's space on the ballot is within a ruled box, and the bubbles are large and placed so that one cannot mark the wrong candidate's name.
At the end of the voting day I remove the ballots from the voting machine, do a physical count of ballots, run a tabulation that breaks out the voting by party, candidate and office ... then I do a physical count of by-party votes to ensure that the number of actual ballots for each party matches the machine count exactly.
Once those checks are completed, ballots go to the election supervisor who double-checks my work, bags the ballots in tear-proof plastic bags with seals -- and each of the polling station staff signs the seals to attest that we watched them being counted & locked.
After we close the polls, the election supervisor is ESCORTED to the central counting station at the county seat by a Sheriff's deputy.
At the central counting station -- where the public is invited to watch the counting and party officials observe -- the Probate Judge's staff conducts a count that essentially reverses the polling station process -- with at least three double-checks and multiple signatures of election officials at each stage.
This is Alabama's process ... Alabama, where snotty Libs call us racist or backward or both.
BTW: we have a strong voter registration system, we require photo ID (27 styles are acceptable), we have a free to the poor state ID program that even waives all fees for required documents ... we have an affidavit of ID system just in case a voter comes in who doesn't have proper ID but is known to at least two members of the polling station staff ... and we have a provisional balloting system for people who can't prove who they are or where they live (lots of legit reasons this could happen) ... but generally, provisional ballots don't affect the outcome because they're not counted or verified until all other votes counted & verified.
I so love Alabama and visit every chance I get !!!
With proof of malfunctions of the Electronic Voting machines especially with Romney vs. Obama ......OBAMA SHOULD BE IMPEACHED IMMEDIATLY ! We have had a lier in chief for two terms. What in the hell has congress done to make sure the people of the United States are protected from any fraud ? Congress is just as guilty as Obama and his administration and they all should be fired without any pensions. It is out right treason against our country that voter fraud is happening . If our government cannot do their sworn jobs... then it is up to the people to bring our country back and if it takes a civil revolution to accomplish this ..... I am with the people..... Are You ?
I agree with you on that.Congress should of done something to obummer and his adminstration for criminal acts against this country.Because he is black and his adminstration plays the race card they backed off.I say to hell with what color his skin is he has broken the law.Our country needs a congress who will stand up to tyranny.
I believe that the GOP is using the President's race as an excuse not to Impeach or to take other action to expose his crimes... they are in fact looking for 'plausable deniabiliyt' in order to shift our focus from thei COMPLICIT behavior and tacit approval of this Administration... that's right approval.
It is becoming clearer with each passing scandal and every day... that the GOP has no intention on derailing Obama's fundamental transformation of America. One has to ask WHY? The answer keeps coming up... complicity, like goals, only with a different leadership in charge. Think about it. Why has the GOP missed so many excellent opportunities to expose this bums.. past and his unlawful conduct? Why?
Bible makes it impeccably clear - cowards go to hell, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Period.
there is one good thing then that budget shortfalls have caused!
In this hellhole NYS the machine does not tell you crap.
You get a message: your ballot was successfully cast.
Yeah, but for whom?
I'm calling board of elections tomorrow and speaking to them about paper ballots.
I was told at the polls that paper ballots are not even counted unless there is an issue with the race such as too close to call.
You can refuse to use the machines,paper ballots are always on hand.I have been told if you want to use the machine you can.I look at them and say paper please.Always have use paper always will
Democrats alone are good enough reason to end electronic voting. There is plenty of evidence of corrupt programming and hacking. These people don't care how they win just as long as they do win.