Member's Press Release

Release Date: 03/30/2005

Linda Longstreth

Marion County Delegation Sponsors Bill Concerning Electronic Voting Machines

Delegate Linda Longstreth (D-Marion) is pleased to announce her sponsorship of House Bill 2950. The bill has passed the House unanimously and will now be sent to the Senate for its consideration. This bill requires electronic voting machines to generate a paper copy record of an individual’s vote when cast during an election.

Electronic voting machines have proven to be very useful in recent elections because of their user friendly layout and almost immediate voting tallies; however, the lack of a paper trail has been one shortfall of this new voting technology because there is no physical evidence of the cast vote. Requiring the machine to generate a printed copy is a solution to this problem. The paper records would be stored and used for recounts if an election is contested or to check the accuracy of the machine.

“ In this modern era, new technology is being created that can provide efficient ways of conducting business; however, a paper trail should be a requirement of the new electronic voting machines. I believe this action will uphold the integrity and accuracy of every vote,” stated Delegate Longstreth.

Paper records of votes cast would be automatically kept within a storage container that is locked and closely attached to the electronic voting machine. The voter could examine the paper copy visually. If visually impaired, the voter would be provided with headphones for an audio read out of the vote. Voters would then have the power to accept or reject the printed copy.

“I understand the concerns of individuals regarding the accommodation of persons who may be impaired in any way shape or form when attempting to review their ballot. I am confident that every detail will be worked out within the various committees and the Secretary of States Office so that there are no problems or glitches when this piece of legislation is enacted,”Delegate Longstreth continued.

This bill has additional support from other Marion County lawmakers, such as Delegate Mike Caputo (D-Marion) and Delegate Tim Manchin (D-Marion).

“I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this bill and I applaud Delegate Longstreth’s efforts regarding this issue. I believe this measure will give a calm piece of mind to the voters of this state and ensure that no vote will be lost or miscounted due to a computer malfunction,” said Delegate Caputo.

“It was an honor to co-sponsor Delegate Longstreth’s bill which will ensure that our electoral process is protected from both computer fraud and malfunction,” added Delegate Manchin.

Other sponsors of this bill include: Speaker of the House Robert S. Kiss (D-Raleigh), Don Perdue (D-Wayne), Dale Martin(D-Putnam), Jon Amores (D-Kanawha) and J.D. Beane (D-Wood).

“When you look at the diversity and number of co-sponsors of this bill, it shows that this is an important issue to many in the state of West Virginia. It is important to move our election process into the future and this bill allows us to do it safely,” said Delegate Longstreth.

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