National: Why We Still Use Paper Ballots on Election Day | MeriTalk
The vast majority of tech-savvy voters heading to the polls today across Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, are in for the shock of their lives: paper ballots. They’re not the kind of paper ballot that you fold in half and slip through a hole in a ballot box, but a semi-high-tech optical scan ballot that is first marked by the voter and then processed by the optical scanner to tabulate the votes. All of the states holding primaries Tuesday, with the exception of Delaware, use paper ballots or a combination of paper and electronic systems. This is the new reality facing elections in the United States. The most connected country in the world has connected so many devices that securing all of them—including the once highly touted electronic voting machine—is a near impossibility. Add to the security concerns real questions about transparency, reliability, and the ability to conduct fair and accurate recounts, and you have the makings for a mass move back to paper ballots. “Based on what I’m seeing and how slowly technology evolves in the elections world, we will still be on paper over the next five to 10 years,” said Matthew Davis, the chief information officer for the Virginia Department of Elections. Davis spoke to MeriTalk at the 2016 Akamai Government Forum in Washington, D.C.