Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Will State OK Verifiable Votes?

The state's legislature is moving forward (at last) to insure verifiable results for the ballots cast in an election, as noted in today's KNS story.

(previously mentioned here and R. Neal has more at TennViews)

The proposal is meant to create a paper trail for votes cast, and though it may be another two years before the new process (if approved) could be installed.

Bernie Ellis, an organizer for Gather to Save Our Democracy, said Tennessee has been rated as one of the eight states in the nation most vulnerable to vote-counting abuse because of its heavy reliance on the touch-screen system. Only two of 95 Tennessee counties, Hamilton and Pickett, now have the precinct-based optical scan machines.

With the current system, a voter makes his or her choices on a computer screen that disappears when the vote is cast with no paper record. The optical scan system will require the voter to mark a paper ballot, look it over to verify the choices are correct, then run the paper ballot through a scanner that records the vote."

The new process, however, will not improve your choices nor negate any regrets you might have for the choices you made. Still, accuracy and reliability of results is a laudable goal.

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