Bill would do away with voting machines

Posted April 8, 2013

— A bill filed by Rep. Bert Jones, R-Rockingham, and Rep. Justin Burr, R-Stanly, could force roughly 25 counties to do away with their voting machines. 

House Bill 607 would require that all ballots cast in North Carolina be paper ballots.

That would not change voting procedures in Wake County, where voters fill out bubble-sheet ballots with pen on paper. But counties like Guilford and Cumberland use touch-screen devices that record votes electronically. Those touch-screen machines would be outlawed by the bill. 

"Paper ballots give an accurate record of the vote," Jones said Monday night as he left the House chamber. "There were some concerns during the last election."

Those concerns included voting machines that appeared to record someone other than the candidate a voter had selected. Election officials said that those cases were problems with voting machine "calibration," the process by which the touch-screen is linked to the rest of the software. 

Jones said that counties would not have to do away with their touch-screen machines. He said they could be retrofitted to print a full ballot rather than a paper receipt similar to an ATM slip, as they do now.


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  • Six String Apr 9, 2013

    Terkel and hp277, I agree completely. Totally electronic machines can be manipulated without easy detection and there is no backup to ensure proper vote records. I do think the headline is a bit slanted, though. Machines in Wake County are fine - they are backed up by paper ballots. So "voting machines" would not be eliminated, only those without a paper backup system. WRAL screws it up again. Do thty have any editors working there? If so, do they edit for content or are they that incompetent to let this slide?

  • Terkel Apr 9, 2013

    That certainly takes an unknown out of the equation. I know it's not the most efficient way, but efficiency isn't everything all the time.

  • hp277 Apr 8, 2013

    Sensible move. Paper ballots can be recounted - touch screens can't.