Virginia localities may continue to use touch-screen voting machines at the polls beyond the 2014 election. A proposal that would have forced precincts to replace the so-called direct recording electronic machines with optical scan tabulators by November was defeated in the House Privileges and Elections Committee Friday after several panel members voiced concern with the financial burden of replacement. The measure, sponsored by Del. David I. Ramadan, R-Loudoun, would have created a fund to help localities cover half of the cost of new tabulators.
Some legislators prefer optical scan machines because they preserve a paper record of ballots. Under current law, local electoral boards are not permitted to replace old touch-screen machines with new equipment but they are allowed to use their old machines as long as they keep them operating. Ramadan’s measure was defeated on an 11-10 vote.