Switch to paper ballots to help ensure fairness, accuracy
Just as your car goes nowhere fast when the accelerator is busted, Democracy doesn’t run if its essential key, the voting process, is defective.
In other words, counting votes must always be fair and accurate, and the electoral system used be flawless.
To that end, Montgomery County has taken steps to have a new voter-verifiable paper balloting structure in place for May’s primary. The $5.8 million system replaces the county’s 22-year-old push-button method. An important element of this process: the paper trail can be audited to ensure votes are counted accurately.
Has Montco thrown out the new for the old in a return to pen and paper?
“Voters will still be able to privately cast their ballot, just like the current system, and the simple paper ballot will give them the highest confidence that their votes will be accurately recorded and counted,” said Dr. Val Arkoosh, chairperson, county commissioners.
The recent rush of electoral problems — from Russia tampering to voter count challenges — demanded voting systems everywhere work without problems. Taking away some high-tech and replacing with hands-on makes sense. In most cases with the new Montgomery County method, voters will use a pen to fill out a ballot and have the opportunity to check it for accuracy before submitting it to a scanner that tabulates the vote and keeps the ballot in a secure place for auditing. Polling locations also will have an ADA touchscreen for candidate selection.
The county chose the new system with information gathered at last February’s Voting Machine Open House at Montgomery County Community College’s Blue Bell campus where more than 300 residents viewed, tested and gave feedback on a range of systems and machines.
Said John Poulos, CEO, Dominion Voting Systems, the company selected to set up the new method, “We are confident that our election technology will suit the diverse needs of the county and its voters, particularly in an age where quality and security are paramount.”
Paramount, indeed. Quality and security — the unassuming knowledge voting is fair and accurate — is essential. The huge and vital voting structure, shown to be frail with tampering and fraud, must be a working machine of freedom.