Jefferson County Looks For Back-up Voting System

Some Feel Paper Trail Is Needed To Better Secure Votes

There's been a concern over how dependable electronic voting machines are all across the country.

With an expected record voter turnout for the 2008 presidential election, Colorado counties are already looking at options to make sure the November elections run smoothly.

"I feel confident that my vote -- either by mail or at polling place -- is being counted and done properly now," said Jefferson County Commissioner Kevin McCasky.

Jefferson County is the only county that does not have Voter Verification Paper Audit Trail to go along with its electronic voting machines. VVPAT is essentially a paper receipt of how you vote. This will provide a backup plan if something were to go wrong with the computer systems.

"Upgrading our current system to provide paper trail is something we should do," said McCasky.

That is one of the options Jefferson County Commissioners are looking at while they wait for the Secretary of State's Office to recertify their current voting machines. However, if the current voting machines don't get certified, then the county might have to look at spending $14.5 million on a new replacement system.

"Now we're looking at a new system of about $15 million and I don't think it's necessary," said McCasky.

Another option the county is looking at would cost $800,000. If the current eletronic machines get recertified, they can lease scanners at polling stations. That way voters can have the option to vote electronically, or by paper and then scan their votes.

"It should be a really honest system whatever we have," said voter Guy Stocking.

The Secretary of State's Office has been testing all eletronic voting machines for next year's election since April. The results should come out by the end of the year.

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