ICYMI: Paper ballots make a comeback in Virginia this fall

deanNews

I wanted to pass along a story that ran in Washington Post Sunday Metro section that discusses Virginia’s efforts to ensure our elections are secure.

Paper ballots make a comeback in Virginia this fall

I introduced the 2007 legislation (HB2707, signed into law) mentioned in the Washington Post story that directed localities, when purchasing new voting equipment, to replace direct recording electronic (DRE) voting machines with paper-based digital voting, also known as an optical scan ballot device.

The intent of this bi-partisan legislation was to address the concerns at the time with the “less secure” DRE machines and to implement a plan to improve election security.

“The change to a paper-based ballot system will make Virginia’s process ‘one of the very best’ in the country,” said Barbara Simons, president of the nonpartisan Verified Voting.

The paper-based system, similar to a Scantron, allows for votes to be securely tallied while keeping the original paper ballots in case of a recount.

Security of the ballot box is critical to the success of our electoral process and the representative government that comes from it. I recognized the vulnerabilities of our voting system a decade ago and took proactive steps to ensure the integrity of our electoral process. I take this responsibility seriously and will continue to work to ensure that our electoral system in Virginia remains secure.