Tuesday, 22 May 2007 01:00
Paper TrailWritten by WGCU Newsroom
Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill recently that will establish a paper trail for all votes cast in Florida elections. The legislation will provide optical scan machines for counties that do not already have them, appropriating nearly 28 million dollars to buy the equipment. Touch-screen machines will still be used to comply with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act. State Representative Dave Aronberg, whose district includes parts of Southwest Florida, says it’s a first step in election reform, not the last.
“We didn’t have any confidence in our voting system. This started back in 2000, we tried to fix things by installing these electronic machines but then we found out the electronic machines were not perfect and there was no paper trail to make sure there was a backup. I just hope we can reduce the chance the of fraud to where it does not impact any elections but don’t think that we’re ever going to get rid of the possibility of it.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida applauded the law as an initial step toward comprehensive voting reform. It says in a release that the pattern of under votes – especially the 18,300 unrecorded votes in the 2006 Congressional election in Sarasota – and the inability of voting machines to allow for a recount, led to the change.