Having read the article by Georgia Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), chairman of Governor Kemp’s “study group” on voting, I found his interpretation riddled with half-truths and the omission of significant facts. These include:
Confusion in the 2000 Florida vote was all due to paper ballots. The few counties that used the butterfly ballot did indeed see problems, but this system has all but been eliminated. Voting machines were used in most counties and were more questionable.
Bush won every recount. This is true to a degree. However, every recount brought the margin closer, starting with a 1,784 vote lead for Bush, but steadily dropping to 537. The Bush camp was scared to death that a full, state-wide recount would put Gore over the top, so H. W. Bush sent a plane-load of lawyers to convince the Supreme Court to stop the recount.
Problems with Georgia’s voting have been almost entirely with paper ballots. He couldn’t have been more wrong. Polling places all over the state had reports of machines switching ballots.
The panel that made recommendations had only one expert in this field. He strongly pushed for paper ballots as the easiest, safest, and cheapest. The machines Republicans are touting will cost around $150 million (plus yearly maintenance), paper ballots about $30 million.
Georgia Republicans praise the paper printout these machines supply to verify votes. They fail to mention this will be as a bar code, so unless your phone has a bar code app, you’ll have no idea how your vote was recorded.
Lastly, recent articles point out how far competing voting systems are going to get theirs selected. Known perks range from meals to trips to Vegas to influence this decision. Georgia ranked as the most corrupt state government in 2012 (F) and almost the worst in 2016 (D-). This doesn’t give you a warm fuzzy feeling about why machines are being pushed so hard over paper ballots.