Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays from the Team at Voting News

We wish you all safe and happy holidays, and for those who celebrate, a Merry Christmas. The Voting News will resume regular postings on Monday December 27 after a short holiday break. (News from this week will be archived.)

Today, though, we'd like to pass on several news stories that are a gift to those working hard for accurate elections. In Mississippi, one of the largest counties - currently using paperless voting machines - is considering switching to paper ballots. Kentucky's movement away from unverifiable DREs continues, with election officials who previously used DREs reportedly more pleased with new paper ballot scanners. And from Maryland, perhaps the most exciting news: an independent cost study commissioned by the General Assembly shows that Maryland would save nearly $10 million by switching to paper ballot optical scan voting systems - and get recountable elections in the bargain.

We know our readers, like us, can't help saving a small space for concern about elections even on a holiday, and we hope this news adds to your enjoyment of the day. We'll be back in touch next week, and we look forward to serving you in the new year.

KY: Trimble to buy new voting machines
The county currently uses ES&S for equipment and will switch to Harp Enterprises. The switch will mean new equipment and a new way of reading votes. Harp uses paper ballots that will be scanned into a computer to tally the numbers.

"I have talked to several counties that have switched to the paper ballot system and they all like the paper ballots over the machines," Powell said in the letter. Paper ballots are expected to reduce
confusion by voters and be easier to tally.

MD: Report: Scanners cost less than touch-screen machines
The independent analysis, conducted by a North Carolina research firm for the Department of Legislative Services, appears to confirm what supporters of a voter-verified paper trail system have long argued: It costs more money to maintain the current equipment than to purchase new
machines that allow voters to print out paper receipts of their selections.

MS:Hinds rejects used voting machines
Hinds County supervisors say they want to discard the county's 8-year-old, $1.5 million voting system and start anew.

The Board of Supervisors denied a request Monday by some election commissioners to purchase 300 used voting machines. Instead, the board wants the commission to shop for a new system, such as an optical scanning system that would allow for better auditing of records.

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Disclaimer: Articles and commentary included in "Voting News" do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors of Voting News,or its allied organizations. Articles are selected for inclusion to inform subscribers'ability to draw their own conclusions based on noteworthy and credible news,research, legislation, and debate bearing on the integrity of elections.

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