Mississippi's Forrest County Board of Supervisors votes to move to paperless voting system, stop using printers with touch-screen voting machines
October 22, 2011
– The Forrest County Board of Supervisors has voted to stop using printers in conjunction with the county's touch-screen voting machines.
Elections commissioners have complained that paper jams in the printers have been a big headache at election time.
The Hattiesburg American reports (http://hatne.ws/pf0uYX) there has been some resistance to moving to a paperless system. But Thursday's vote to stop using printers came after a representative from the machine manufacturer assured board members that the machines' internal memory cards are efficient backups for vote counts.
Also, officials said that a printout ballot of a precinct's results still could be produced at the county's circuit clerk's office if a race is contested.
The board still must obtain pre-clearance from the Justice Department before the printers can be removed.
"The printers are our biggest problem," Sunrise poll worker Cathy Mohawk said during Thursday's discussion. "They make it hard on managers to open up the machines. I don't think we need them, never have."
Supervisor Rod Woullard cast the only vote against ditching the printers. He said he was not convinced that the security features of the machines are sufficient to prevent tampering with election results.
"There are just too many variables for me to trust that," Woullard said.
Woullard reminded the board that the local and state chapters of the NAACP also have expressed concerns about removing the printers.
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