Status Of Electronic Voting After Election Day

“After the November 4th election, Maryland and Virginia will return to paper ballots, scrapping or phasing out electronic voting machines that were once considered state of the art. Maryland will eliminate its $65-million electronic system and return to paper ballots for the 2010 midterm elections, but will continue paying for the discontinued system until 2014. Virginia jurisdictions will ease toward paper ballots based on a General Assembly vote last year to phase out electronic voting machines as they wear out. The two states say hand-filled paper ballots are more reliable, especially in a recount. The recently-enacted Virginia law bars localities from buying more electronic machines, but it could take years to complete the phasing out of electronic machines and the switch to paper.

The electronic machines used in Virginia and Maryland do not print paper so that voters can check to ensure their votes were recorded properly. Only one person at a time can vote on electronic machines, which means voting can take longer. Paper ballots are fed into an optical scan machine that reads them. They help voting lines move more quickly because many voters can fill ballots out at the same time. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley supported the move because “”he wanted a way to manually go back and verify the votes,”” said spokesman Shaun Adamec.