More Election Officials Moving Back to Paper Ballots

Yesterday I mentioned draft legislation the state Board of Elections will consider later this month to decertify Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) devices for South Dakota’s elections. That discussion in Pierre is part of a nationwide trend among voting officials to combat election hacking by moving back to paper:

Citing security concerns, the Virginia Board of Elections announced last Friday that it will stop using electronic voting machines in the state. The board’s action is the latest sign that state and local election agencies are trying to address growing concerns that the nation’s election infrastructure is vulnerable to hacking.

…Some states — including Virginia and Georgia, which recently announced a pilot program to use paper ballots — hope eliminating the use of electronic ballots will reduce the threat of cyberattacks.

“Moving to paper is absolutely the happening trend,” says Wendy Underhill, a program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures [J.B. Wogan, “After 2016 Election Hacks, Some States Return to Paper,” Governing, 2017.09.12].

The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of pulling out all of the wires and casting and counting every vote by hand.

Meanwhile, instead of focusing on real election security, Donald Trump’s election fraud commission keeps peddling bogus claims of voter fraud to undermine voters’ confidence in American democracy and to wedge the door open for more restrictions on voters’ rights.


12 Responses to More Election Officials Moving Back to Paper Ballots

  1. The 2014-5 Minnehaha County (SD) Election Review Committee had discussion about this. The current DS 850 ES&S machines for counting are less than perfect but at least we can see ballots. When we were using the DS650 machines I could stand by the input and output trays and see, with trained eyes, problem ballots.

    DRE equipment is just a hope and a prayer you can actually get a result not tampered with. I’m still not comfortable with the tabulators we use being programmed by ES&S contractors. Sen Chuck Hagel and Diebold’s 2004 comments about defeating Sen Tom Daschle still rings in my ears.

    Our state election rules are still a problem and write-in candidates are never counted in our system. This and many more things are wrong.

  2. SD uses paper ballots and should continue to do so.

  3. Jerry K. Sweeney

    I find myself wondered how long it will take for the Republicans to realize the secret ballot is the problem — gerrymandering, restricting voting privileges and times is only picking away at the edges.

  4. Douglas Wiken

    I have suggested in the past that the voting machines should be electronic, but as soon as a voter finishes voting, they should get a paper ballot they then cast as a paper ballot. If there is any question about the validity of the electronic data, the paper should support it if actually correct. I see no reason to have the systems on-line. Data could be shared by copying machine data to flash drives which could then be used on “official computers” not online with the voting machines, but usable to contact voting officials state for statewide elections.

  5. There is good enough reason to exclude Democrats from any commission investigating voter fraud : Democrats won’t look for it because they don’t want to find it. They keep pedaling their racist notion that black people are too stupid or marginalized to know how to get photo IDs. Nobody has ever been able to produce one of these ID-less adults and trot him out in front of the cameras on MSNBC, but We are constantly reminded they exist. Never mind that it is now impossible to obtain housing, transportation, medical care or employment without one, Democrats are so blatantly racist that they believe this about black people. While they personally don’t know anybody who hasn’t got a photo ID, they are sure there are thousands out there who don’t.
    The latest revelations coming out of New Hampshire do not surprise me. Back on election night in 2002, I found out my son had neglected to obtain an absentee ballot from South Dakota. He was going to school in Minneapolis at the time. I chewed him out. So at 6:30 pm on election night he located a polling place, and drove there in a car with SD plates, registered to vote and cast a ballot. This was fine with the citizens of Minnesota. It would actually be possible to drive from town to town in Minnesota on Election Day, register to vote and cast ballots in every town you come to, and the state of Minnesota wouldn’t blink. They don’t care. Just think of the chaos South Dakota Republicans could inflict on Minnesota’s elections if they chose to orchestrate such an invasion!

  6. Mr. Lansing

    Ms. Beal just returned from a trip to D.C. with her Winter’s stash of marijuana, I presume. Anne … there are steps involved after a vote is cast and before a vote is counted and before a vote is certified. There’s also a difference between needing proper i.d. to register to vote and needing i.d. to show up and vote. It seems you’re trying to misdirect the thread to somewhere where paper ballots aren’t the most secure method. Where I live you need an i.d. to vote in person (most voters vote by mail and it’s cheaper for the County). Don’t you need an i.d. to vote in SoDak? I’m sure you need i.d. to register. It’s the form and cost of the specific i.d. that Republicans demand that’s in question. It’s called a de facto poll tax. Also, where is this racist characterization coming from? If minorities thought Democrats were racist they wouldn’t vote for us, overwhelmingly. You’re trying to project your guilt away from yourself, Republican disenfranchisement efforts and GOP gerrymandering. Hope it helps your self-esteem issues. PS … don’t fret. The medical pot law in SoDak will allow you to grow your own like you said you want to. Just go to a certified Doctor tell him about your “need for weed”. You’ll be set and you can grow it, just like when you were a 20 something in Mass.

  7. Douglas Wiken

    Ms.Beal is spreading and assumption of fake news and blaming Democrats for a problem they did not create. When the GOP and Koch decided a good way to warp elections was to deny Democratic voters access to vote, there was an attempt to demonstrate massive voter fraud. Out of thousands claimed only a handful actually demonstrated multiple voting by an individual. Anybody actually campaigning knows how hard it is to get a citizen to vote even once let alone dozens of times.

    Voter ID in small communities is pretty much insane. I walk into vote, and I get, “Hello Doug, we found you in the voter list, do you have any ID?”

    The correct term should not be voter fraud, but voting fraud which is conducted by election officials adding or subtracting votes from totals.

  8. Vance Feyereisen

    Ms. Beal, considering all that voting fraud you point out that must be happening in MN, it is amazing that the state is doing so well. Perhaps they should bottle their brand of voter fraud and sell it to MS and SD.

  9. Minnesota election officials should be on the lookout for South Dakota republicans, apparently.

  10. Deputy SOS Warne tells me that no county in South Dakota has adopted DRE machines. This proposed legislation in South Dakota thus won’t send any machines to the junk heap, but they will prevent us from adopting such machines.

  11. Oh, poor Ms Beal, the gall of the State of MN letting its people register to vote on Election Day. I think every state should let the people be able to register to vote on Election Day.
    MN is run pretty well and there is a healthy balance of Dems and Pubs in St Paul.
    There’s always been rumors that the Al Franken/Norm Coleman election was rigged. Who knows. I don’t think there’s any more election fraud in MN than any other state.

  12. Call up that James O’keefe guy and have him set up operations in MN to see how easy it is to vote in MN when you’re not a resident there. Prove it, Beal.