[EM] Fla. Rids Itself of Punch-Card Ballots
DEMOREP1 at aol.com
DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Wed Sep 5 18:25:07 PDT 2001
I presume that it will be possible to have some advanced voting choices (1,
2, etc.-- ratings) with the higher tech touchscreens.
Fla. Rids Itself of Punch-Card Ballots
CALLAHAN, Fla. (AP) - With punch card ballots banned in Florida after last
fall's election fiasco, communities across the state are looking into new
On Tuesday, 150 voters in this tiny north Florida community became the first
to put to the test one of the two state-approved options - touchscreen voting
``No more hanging, dimpled or pregnant chads,'' Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan said
after getting a demonstration of the machines, which work like automated
Tuesday's election in Callahan, a town of 527 registered voters, was for
three of its four town council members.
In the last presidential election, the two Callahan precincts had 133
overvotes and 12 undervotes, or blank votes. There were no blanks Tuesday,
though one person walked out without voting.
``We had absolutely no problems,'' said Vicki Peterson Cannon, Nassau County
supervisor of elections. ``The citizens, regardless of their race or age or
anything, they were just extremely pleased and we're pleased as well.''
In future elections statewide, Florida voters will have to use either
touchscreen or optical scanning machines, similar to the scanners used to
score standardized school tests.
Punch cards were banned because of their role in the recounts and court
fights that delayed the results of the 2000 presidential election by more
than a month.
The touchscreens will not let voters cast more than one vote in each race.
They will allow voters to skip a race, but will ask them if they are doing so
``It was very, very easy, and I liked the fact that you could review your
ballot,'' said Callahan voter JoAnn Swafford, 56.
Election Systems and Software of Omaha, Neb., is the only company now
certified by the state to sell touchscreen machines. The company offered
Callahan free use of the technology for Tuesday's election, Cannon said.
Buying enough of the machines for Nassau County's 38,000 registered voters
would cost about $700,000.
Touchscreens have been in use for several years in Greensboro, N.C., and have
seen some use in Dallas, said Dan McGinnis, vice president sales for ES&S.
The touchscreens are more expensive than optical scanning systems but they
could save money in big counties by eliminating the cost of printing and
storing paper ballots. Florida's Pasco County, north of Tampa, has already
contracted with ES&S to begin a move to touchscreens.
More information about the Election-Methods