Local Election Commission Pleased with State Senate Vote to Delay Voting Machines Law

The DeKalb County Election Commission has expressed its pleasure with a vote in the State Senate this week to delay implementation of a bill that would have required the purchase and use of optical can voting machines.
The State House had voted last spring to delay the bill.
“To change voting machines will be extremely costly and is really unnecessary,” said DeKalb County Election Commission Chairperson Walteen Parker. “We applaud the move to delay this bill until the 2012 November election.”
Optical can machines scan or “Read” a voter’s paper ballot and millions of dollars in taxpayer money will be required to equip the state’s 95 counties with the new devices. In addition, there will be increased costs due to the printing of paper ballots and the storage of both the machines and ballots.
“Just four years ago the state required the purchase of new voting machines that record votes electronically, and they are working as advertised. There is no need to go to a new machine that, in essence, takes ys back in time with the use of paper ballots,” she continued.
“We have numerous security steps in place to assure ballot integrity with the current machines and the use of paper ballots will simply increase the opportunity for fraud in the voting process.”
Parker also explained this is not a partisan issue, at least on the local level. She said the county election commission, which consists of two democrats and three republicans voted unanimously to oppose the immediate implementation of the bill. The DeKalb County Commission also voted late last year to ask the state legislature and Governor Bredesen to delay implementation of the bill.
“We want to thank the County Commission, State Senator Mae Beavers, and others who supported delaying this bill,” she added. “Without them, we would be spending an unnecessarily large amount of money in tough economic times. We hope the Governor will sign the delay until 2012 into law.”
Meanwhile, Administrator of Elections Dennis Stanley said this week petitions are now available for local school board candidates and those who wish to run for State Representative or State Senator.
School board seats are considered “non-partisan” and candidates run in the August County General Election. This year, school board seats in five districts are up for election. School board candidates must file proof of graduation from high school or receipt of a G.E.D., evidenced by a
Diploma or other documentation satisfactory to the election commission prior to the qualifying deadline, which is noon, April 1st.
State candidates can run in either the Republican or Democratic Primaries also held in August, and the qualifying deadline is also at noon on April 1st. The same qualifying deadline applies to Independent candidates for a state legislative seat.

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