Saturday, May 8, 2004

Counties get electronic vote OK

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Gov. Bob Taft signed a bill Friday authorizing up to 31 counties to switch to electronic voting machines in time for the Nov. 2 election.

The new law also requires that, by May 2006, such machines issue paper receipts confirming to voters their choices.

All 88 counties will be required to have electronic voting systems by then. Some of the 31 authorized to switch by November may choose to wait if they don't have enough time to make the change from punch card and lever voting systems.

Electronic voting machines have come under fire. Security experts say the ATM-like machines are too vulnerable to tampering and malfunction. Critics also say that because the machines don't produce a paper record for each vote, proper recounts are impossible.

Ohio's bill leaves it up to Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's office to develop a system to let voters confirm their votes before they are counted. He also must find a way to keep the votes secure.

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