State Lays Groundwork to Move Back to a Paper-Based Optical Scan Voting System

As the State prepares to move back to a paper-based optical scan voting system from the touch screen system that is currently in place, State election officials held a public demonstration on November 13 to showcase a potential new voting system.  This gave local election officials and members of the public a chance to see how the system would work, raise issues to be addressed, and discuss procedures to be put in place prior to the 2016 Presidential election.

As reported by

Several election officials that attended last week’s demonstration were wary about taking on a new statewide voting system. Concerns ranged from potential long lines at the polls to problems with producing multiple versions of paper ballots or not having enough time to test the new system before it goes live.

Election officials are especially concerned about early voting centers in counties, which unlike designated voting precincts, are open to any eligible resident of the county. According to [State Election spokeswoman Donna] Duncan, large counties such as Prince Georges will have 100 different ballot combinations that reflect races for different school board, legislative and congressional districts.
The transition to this new system will be costly.
State election officials would not provide an estimate of the cost to transition the state to the new paper voting system. Instead, the state board referred to a 2010 study conducted for the state by RTI International which estimated that initial implementation would cost approximately $37 million.
Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to request funding for the new paper ballot voting system in his 2015 budget, which will be presented to the General Assembly in early January.
Counties will be responsible for sharing in these costs.
Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: