15 January 2004

Push begins for paper backups on new electronic voting machines

Anthony Man
Sun-Sentinel: Palm Beach County news
January 14 2004

Spurred by a contested result in last week's special election for state House, local leaders on two fronts advanced the effort to create a paper backup for electronic voting machines.

Palm Beach County commissioners voted after contentious debate Tuesday to ask the Legislature to authorize -- and hopefully pay for -- ballot printers for electronic voting machines.

Also Tuesday, the most outspoken proponent of a voting machine paper trail -- U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton -- wrote to Gov. Jeb Bush asking him to push for legislation requiring the printers.

"Florida faces the very real possibility of another national election debacle," Wexler wrote.

The requests from the commission and Wexler were prompted by the results of last week's special election to fill a Florida House seat in Palm Beach and Broward counties. Even though no other race was on the ballot, the voting machines showed that 137 people who went to the polls that day cast no ballots. All but three of the so-called undervotes were in Broward County.

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