California’s Secretary of State has ruled that all electronic voting machines used in the Golden State must be able to print a paper ballot. The crux? The requirement doesn’t kick in until 2006. And it is “must be able to” … not just “must.”
Some analysts suggest that this means counties will buy the less-expensive optical scanners. Given that just about every county/state in the country is swimming in red ink, how can this be a bad decision? Oh. Right. It disenfranchises disabled people.
I’m all for creating universal access. That does not equate, in my mind at least, to having touch-screen terminals for every voter. Some of us still use stairs, instead of ramps. The same could be true for voting.
In fact, I propose that every citizen who is concerned about accountability (paper audit trail) in the 2004 election vow today to vote absentee.