01 August 2005

Bill would require paper ballot with electronic vote

Anita Weier - August 1, 2005

Legislators from both political parties have authored a bill that would require that electronic voting machines in Wisconsin produce a paper ballot that could be reviewed by the voter and that would be kept in case a recount is needed.

Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, Rep. Steve Freese, R-Dodgeville, and Sen. Jeff Plale, D-South Milwaukee, are circulating the bill among fellow legislators in the hope of obtaining co-sponsors.

According to a summary by the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau, the bill provides that if a municipality uses an electronic voting machine, the machine must generate a complete paper ballot showing all votes cast by each elector. The bill would allow a voter to verify his or her votes and would allow a manual recount of each vote cast, the Reference Bureau summary said.

A similar bill passed the Assembly last session.

"One thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that as we enter a new era in voting equipment, we must continue to have faith in our election process," Freese said in a written statement. "Requiring a paper trail is a simple check to make sure the new technology works as it should."


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