Yes, Paper is back and yes we told the world it would happen. In the quest to spend money and look cool politicians all surged to convert voting machines to magical electronic booths. Only problem is, voters only use the magic boxes a few times in every four-year cycle. So lets figure this out. Trying turning on your computer say, maybe eight times in four years and running it for a day each time. Any chance you would be really pleased with the results. Wouldn’t you have to upgrade the whole unit every cycle? Does anyone in a critical job use the same computer for eight years?
Then there is the challenge of hacking. There are so many ways to hack these electronic systems both simple and complex. Outside agents can do it. Inside mistakes can happen. A power outage can alter the outcome of an election. After seventeen years of trying – experts are finally admitting that paper beats plastic in the voting booth. See the article here.
Then there is the challenge of counting accurately and recounting even more accurately. Of all the systems out there, the paper ballot remains the single most reliable method of defensible electoral recount. Sure things got messed up on the Florida election of 2000. The margin of that race came down to 537 votes mostly because the brutally partisan vote counters in Florida were NEVER going to let the election be resolved by an honest recount. Once the spotlight was down to one state determining the outcome of the Presidency and then down to a few counties, the partisans came out with their microscopes to alter the simple forensics of a paper ballot. They did not care a bit about hanging chads until the outcome of the Electoral College was hanging in the balance.
So we know all that. We know that some PEOPLE will fail to properly punch through or mark a ballot correctly. If the voter can’t execute the proper process, the answer is simple: throw out the ballot. If a person is not able to punch a hole or make a check mark then they can get help by voting absentee or get assistance in person at the Board of Elections. But if a voter misses the mark on Election then the ballot is thrown out. Simple rules. Punch the right hole. Check the right box. This is America. We put people in outer space and invented the Smartphone. We ought to be able to punch a hole or check a box once or twice a year.