I'm no fan of Florida's electronic voting machines, as I've noted numerous times in the past. Aside from numerous security concerns and the lack of any kind of paper trail, the screen layout can be confusing and the touchscreens are frequently unresponsive.
Apparently, I'm not the only one that feels this way, as new Florida governor Charlie Crist has decided that the machines aren't all they were originally billed to be (which, for the record, was a cure-all for the voting stupidity that overtook my state in the 2000 presidential elections), and wants to get rid of them in favor of optical paper reading ballot machines used by many other states, according to this article in the St. Petersburg Times.. Crist is expected to ask the state Legislature for over $30-million to replace the touch screen systems in 15 of the most highly-populated counties (including the now-infamous Palm Beach, Miami-Dade, and my own home county, Broward) with an optical system that allows a voter to physically mark an circle next to the selected candidate’s name (thus leaving a physical record), and then slip the ballot into an electronic reader, providing instant feedback and verification.
I'm sure this saga isn't over yet, but at least there's hope in sight now, and the government is working to replace its previous mistake (which was really just a knee-jerk reaction to another previous mistake).
Tags: e-voting, voting kiosks, electronic voting machines, florida