Politics Magazine

Most Voters Don't Really Trust Electronic Voting Machines

Posted on the 22 September 2018 by Jobsanger
Most Voters Don't Really Trust Electronic Voting Machines
Most Voters Don't Really Trust Electronic Voting Machines
Most counties here in Texas now use electronic voting machines, and most of them don't have a paper readout so the voter can check their votes (and to provide a way to recount those votes in case of a machine malfunction). That's a problem, and voters know it. A new poll shows that voters don't really trust the electronic machines. They believe it makes voting less safe. Only 36% say those machines making voting more safe, while 56% say they make voting less safe -- a significant gap of 20 points.
Voters do trust paper ballots though. About 68% say paper ballots make voting more safe, while only 26% say they make voting less safe -- an even larger gap of 42 points! Obviously, going to paper ballots would increase voter trust in our electoral system.
I understand why counties like the electronic machines. It makes counting the votes much faster and workers don't have to spend most of the night counting votes in a large precinct. But there are some compromises to be had.
We could use a paper ballot that can be electronically counted (and recounted by hand if there is any doubt as to the electronic count). We can also require electronic machines to have a paper printout. That printout could also be counted by hand if there is a recount (or question of machine malfunction).
County officials are right to try and find a way to speed up vote counting, but they have gone too far in many cases -- and that is hurting voter trust in our electoral system (which is necessary in a democracy). We need to outlaw any voting machines that don't at least have a paper printout.
The charts above reflect the results of a NPR / Marist Poll -- done between September 5th and 9th of a national sample of 949 adults, with a 3.6 point margin of error.

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