Video: Lowndes County Considering Paper Elections
COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – In an increasingly digital world, doing things by paper seems a little old-fashioned. But a growing number of communities are reverting back to paper for one of our most sacred responsibilities voting
This week, more than a million New Yorkers elected a new mayor. And they voted on paper ballots.
Even so, the returns were counted in a few hours. A number of Mississippi counties are considering a similar system. Rather than fancy technology on the front end, the system relies on paper ballots and improved technology on the back end to improve efficiency and vote counting.
You think it might be going back in technology but it’s really not. A lot of the larger areas are going to the digital scanners as opposed to voting machines. It allows for much more expediate election returns it’s a simpler system.
Mississippi went to the current touch screen computer system eight years ago as part of sweeping election changes across the country. But those new technologies are now wearing out. Replacing or updating them is expensive. For instance, Lowndes County has 178 machines. Election officials say returning to paper ballots with improved scanners saves taxpayers money.
Elections cost money…bottom line. We have compared the cost of paying the maintenance on an old system and the programming of all verses going to a digital scan.
The new digital scanners have other advantages.
There is also a feature called ballot on demand that we hope to incorporate some future time where we can actually print the exact number of absentee ballots that we need.
Clay County Circuit Clerk, Bob Harrell, hopes his district adopts the news system.
Our elections commissioner talked about doing the same thing as well. As these machines and computers get older it’s going to cost a lot more to update them.
Even though paper ballots seem to be the things of the past, Lowndes County hopes to have the system in place for the 2014 June primaries.