A county in Virginia is taking their voting system back in time by replacing their high-tech machines with paper ballots. Augusta County officials decided to make the switch from direct-recording electronic voting machines (DREs) to paper ballots due to concerns about machine malfunctions, according to The News Leader. “It is the touch screens you are familiar with, they were designed for 10 year use and we have reached that point,” Augusta County Board of Elections Secretary Tom Long told the paper. “We have experienced some glitches in our voting machines. Screens going blank for no reason in the last election.”
The optical scanning equipment used to count the paper ballots is projected to cost $350,000, and it could be instated as early as the November presidential elections. However, the board could also choose to start using the new equipment in 2017, Long said.
“Some may think it seems like we’re going backwards,” Long said. “From the very beginning of DRE they have been criticized for malfunctions and glitches. There is no paper trail. Recounts are meaningless.”
Other areas across the U.S. have experienced voting machine issues and solved them by returning to paper ballots.