Monday, April 5, 2004

Doubts about e-voting drive bilateral push for paper backups

By Robert Tanner, Associated Press, in USA Today, April 2, 2004


An effort to erase doubts about new ATM-style voting machines by backing up digital votes with paper records is gaining ground nationwide, as state officials heed warnings about security and potentially messy recounts.

Four states are demanding printers that will generate paper receipts voters can see and verify, and more than a dozen other states are weighing the change. But only one — Nevada — expects to have a paper trail in place by the fall elections.


The idea, known as a verified voter paper trail, has been proposed in at least 16 other states as lawmakers have begun responding to months of complaints, letters of protests and security studies that found serious flaws in the ATM-style equipment.

Secretaries of state in California, Missouri and Nevada have gone further and ordered changes. And Illinois passed a law last year requiring a paper trail. Only Nevada, however, will be ready for the fall elections.

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