Press statement by J. Kenneth Blackwell, Ohio Secretary of State, January 12, 2005
Last week Ohio's Secretary of State, J. Kenneth Blackwell, announced he is moving to implement paper-based optical scan voting technology statewide. The announcement is a reversal of Blackwell's previous plan to implement electronic voting systems in Ohio. Blackwell was an early supporter of e-voting, but pulled back on implementation prior to the November 2004 election.
Blackwell's change of plans represents a major victory for the election verification movement, since Ohio is a populous state and large-scale purchasing of e-voting machines there would significantly increase the percentage of voters voting on such equipment nationwide. Ohio's legislature passed a voter verified paper trail requirement, but with this change of plans it appears Ohio will satisfy that requirement by having voters cast paper ballots, rather than casting e-ballots with a voter-verified paper record.