Franklin County Clerk Debbie Door said a voting bill in the upcoming legislative session regarding paper ballots demonstrates the need for the county’s new election equipment. There has been a push in recent years to go to paper ballots, but finding the funding has been a problem, she said. With the county’s new machines, there will now be paper ballots for all the election results, Door said. The county commission recently purchased new election machines for $414,322 after Door said the equipment was needed. Paper ballots are useful when it comes to auditing elections, officials say.
Door said Franklin County already audits a sample of precincts in which paper ballots are hand counted and compared to the machine counts. That could not be done with the county’s old touch-screen machines for handicapped voters since those votes just went into the machine.
Voters who are not handicapped already use paper ballots, which are fed into an optical scan machine. But handicapped voters have been using touch-screen machines that do not produce paper ballots after voting. The county’s new handicapped-accessible voting machines will produce a paper ballot.