Florida Voters Finally to Get a Paper Trail?
After years of being the butt of election jokes - from the 2000 general election, to the 2002 gubernatorial primary, to Sarasota's problems in the last election, (combined, prompting Ann Louise Bardach to ask in the online journal Slate, "Why Is Florida's Voting System So Corrupt?") - is Tallahassee finally going to take action to raise our process above the level of occassional banana republic?
So it appears.
On Thursday, February 1st, Gov. Crist announced a plan to shift all of Florida's counties away from touch screens to paper ballots read by optical scanners by 2008.
The move by Crist (which the legislature is expected to approve), along with new legislation expected to be passed this year by the new, Democratic Congresss and Senate, could signal "the death knell for the paperless electronic touch-screen machines," according to the New York Times.
Note: While Tallahassee is only now taking action, in the sense of state government taking this issue seriously, the city of Tallahassee and Leon County Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho has been taking the issue very seriously and conducted tests that found Diebold's touch screen technology to be highly flawed. Sancho praised Crist's move, saying, "We dumbed down the process to accommodate technology that has limited capacity to be audited. That was simply the wrong way to go."