Whitesboro council votes against voting machines

By Melissa Johnson
Herald Democrat
WHITESBORO. The Whitesboro City Council Tuesday night approved a resolution resolving that it would not be using voting machines in its May 13th general election.

The resolution states that “because of the inability to acquire reasonably priced electronic voting machines and the necessary software and training in order to use those machines in the May, 2006, municipal election and because the simple paper ballots historically used in the city elections and the election personnel who conscientiously make voting in our elections available to all persons, whether disabled or not, there appears no pattern of denying disabled voters the right to vote, that the 2006 municipal elections in the city of Whitesboro, the city shall continue the practice of using paper ballots for all voters…”

Much controversy has surrounded the voting machines, which were mandated in the 2002 Help America Vote Act. The act stated that no later than Jan. 1, 2006, each poling place must provide one voting station. Several school boards and city councils expressed concern over the cost and availability of the machines and the training.

“We learned the cost was going to be prohibitive, if we could even get them,” said W.D. Welch, Whitesboro mayor. “First they were going to charge a substantial fee just to have the machines, then it was going to cost for software and training. We were in a catch 22. Even if machines were available, we couldn’t get training.”

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