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Travis County Developing Electronic Voting System With a Paper Trail


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A woman selects a candidate during an early test of electronic voting.

An electronic-voting system that prints out a paper copy of the ballot and a take-home receipt to verify the vote was tallied could be in use within three years.

Credit: Chris Gardner/AP

An electronic-voting system that prints out a paper copy of the ballot and a take-home receipt to confirm the vote was tallied is under development in Travis County, Texas, and could be in operation within three years.

The system would likely have voters use a tablet computer to fill out an electronic ballot and then produce a print version, and the e-ballot would not be counted until voters deposited the print copy into a ballot box that scans a serial number. The take-home receipt would have a code that voters can enter online to verify the vote was counted.

The county's initiative in creating its own voting system rather than handing the job over to one of a small cluster of voting machine vendors has never been attempted before, notes Travis County clerk Dana DeBeauvoir. The system came about from a 2009 study of election issues organized by DeBeauvoir, which concluded a paper trail was highly desirable.

Adding urgency to the effort is the fact that some county voting machines are reaching the end of their life spans, and there is no longer any federal funding to pay for new systems.

From Austin American-Statesman (TX)
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