Monday, May 28, 2007

Fayette Added DRE Machines Should Include Paper Ballot Opti-Scan

The following letter to the editor writer assesses the county of Fayette needs more voting machines. That being the case, the county should consider the viability of choosing the Hart Intercivic's paper ballot based system with the optical scan reader as the only system which provides a paper ballot record marked by the voter and available in the case of a need for a "hand" recount.

Voters need more machines

Hats off to the registered voters of Uniontown's First Ward for their diligence and persistence on primary Election Day. They ran the gauntlet of campaign workers who occupied the parking spaces with their vehicles and lawn chairs, only to gasp with dismay when confronted with the line of waiting voters inside the poll.

They were unhappy but waited patiently in line with crying children, growling stomachs and weary bodies ... waiting to reach one of the only two voting machines. The final voter pushed the red "cast ballot" button at 9:30 p.m., a mere 1-1/2 hours following the close of the polls.

What was the problem? Had the voters come out in droves? On the contrary. The final count of 348 voters was 187 less than the number of voters in November 2006. The answer is that the allotted two voting machines is insufficient to accommodate elections with a lengthy ballot.

This was compounded by the tedious and time-consuming scrolling process required to review the entire ballot. Many discouraged people left without voting at all, and it appears Ward 1 was not the only precinct in this predicament.

We ask the county commissioners to purchase the necessary voting machines so that this situation does not arise again. The commissioners want people to vote. Please permit them do so in a timely fashion.

Sushila Warman


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