Vote Count Aftermath
Last November,Cuyahoga County was state of the voting art. Computerized touch-screen machines tallied ballot choices with ease and proved popular with many voters. But, one month later, a report on potential security problems with the high tech devices prompted Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to make some changes. She ordered county officials to replace the touch-screen machines with old-fashioned paper ballots that voters filled out by hand, this past Tuesday. Don Zimmerman says it was a bad choice.
ZIMMERMAN: We went from a state of the art, easy to use, 100% reliable touch screen to an antiquated paper ballot, I have no confidence that the machines were run right, I have no confidence that my ballot was properly read.
Other voters said the ballots were harder to look at, preferring the adjustable screens of the computerized system. It was a little past five yesterday morning when the last of over 406,000 ballots was scanned and counted by election workers. The slower voting process was exacerbated by a severe ice storm and a legal challenge that stopped the count so that several precincts could re-open after allegations that they had run out of ballot blanks. But, Candice Hoke of the Cleveland State-based Center for Election Integrity says the County ran a remarkably smooth election, give the short time frame the state gave them to install the new equipment.
HOKE: We had very little time for transitioning to this new kind of balloting. So the system, to some degree, and voter education especially was a little rough. It can certainly improve.
That's something that all parties can agree on, especially with the return of a national spotlight as the votes are tallied, this November, in the Presidential election.