A happy ending to voting mess

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The 2000 presidential election and the entire debacle that took place in Florida, where it appeared that many votes were cast incorrectly due to antiquated butterfly style punch ballots caused a national outcry for change in the way that we vote.

It has taken the federal government several years to make up their minds on exactly how to ensure accurate voting and the privacy of the ballot box, but it appears that they have finally made up their mind.

Many locations across the country went to an electronic system of voting but after voting irregularities in Ohio during the 2004 presidential election, where results from electronic machines were questioned, a hybrid form needed to be adopted. A "paper trail" needed to be made, with ballots that could be counted by hand, but results also needed to be made available quickly.

Enter the optical scanning voting machine, and bid farewell to complete electronic voting. But who would foot the bill?

The state, with federal subsidies, is paying for all of the equipment needed for federal, state and county elections. An additional three machines are needed for the municipal elections in Cherokee County held in November of odd numbered years. The county is paying for those.

This seems to be a good compromise. In the end, all taxpayers will be paying for the federal and state payments for equipmen but sharing the burden among government entities makes sense.

A happy ending is a nice change of pace.