FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3 May 2007
FLORIDA MOVES TO PAPER BALLOTS!
FLORIDA VOTERS COALITION CONGRATULATES GOVERNOR CRIST AND THE FLORIDA LEGISLATURE FOR ENDING PAPERLESS VOTING.
TALLAHASSEE: In a historic vote, the Florida House today unanimously passed CS/HB 537, already passed in the Senate, that provides almost all voters paper ballots in time for the 2008 Presidential election, and bans paperless DREs outright by 2012. The bill now goes to the Governor where he’s sure to sign it since it’s his initiative.
Counties will have the option to pitch DREs immediately and provide ballot marking devices for voters with disabilities. “FVC urges all 67 counties to convert to uniform paper ballot systems without delay and leave no voter behind voting on failed electronic voting machines,” said FVC Co-Founder, Dan McCrea.
The bill is funded with $27.9 million in HAVA funds and there’s plenty more money in that account should more be needed next year. Counties will get help from the state to purchase optical scan equipment to count the paper ballots; ballot-on-demand equipment to ease paper congestion problems in Early Voting; and ballot marking devices to serve the disabled.
While there was talk earlier in the legislative session about retrofitting printers to failed touchscreen DREs, that talk faded as legislators saw it would be throwing good money after bad…
(Thanks to Megan Matson)
From Daily Voting News:
The headlines from Florida say it all today. The Miami Herald said, “Lawmakers ditch touch-screen machines” while the Sun-Sentinel said, “Bill to replace touch-screen voting with optical scanner sent to Gov. Crist”. In a press release, the Florida Voters Coalition said in part, “In a historic vote, the Florida House today unanimously passed CS/HB 537, already passed in the Senate that provides almost all voters paper ballots in time for the 2008 Presidential election, and bans paperless DREs outright by 2012. The bill now goes to the Governor where he’s sure to sign it since it’s his initiative”. Also, the EAC gave the state permission to use their HAVA funds to make the switch-over. And still in Florida, a House committee has now asked the GAO to investigate the District 13 debacle and report back to them.
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