Maryland Voters React to Return of Paper Ballots - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Voters React to Return of Paper Ballots

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SALISBURY, Md.- For years digital voting machines have filled polling centers across Maryland, but that is about to change. The Maryland State Board of Elections will soon bring back the old paper ballot system.

Lew Marshall of Salisbury prefers voting on the touchscreens.

"The way we vote now is very easy, very fast and real convenient," Marshall said. "It's a pleasure to go to the polls." 

Soon, Marshall and others alike will have to get used to the old way of voting as paper ballots make a comeback in Maryland. State legislators voted on the return of the system back in 2007. Officials said funding became available last year.
  

"I think it's a step backwards," Marshall said.

Voters will fill in ovals on a sheet that will be fed into a scanning machines. Donna Duncan, assistant deputy for election policy, said touchscreens will be available for people with disabilities. Duncan said process and procedures are still being worked out.

Maryland lawmakers said the paper system lessens opportunities for voter fraud and error because it leaves a paper trail behind. Fred Brooks of Salisbury thinks paper ballots are a better way to vote.

"It's more accurate, " Brooks said. "Even though the machine is faster, the paper is more accurate because then you know nobody can change it."

Duncan said the digital machines will be disposed of and replaced with new units. The cost to implement the old system is $27 million. Duncan said the state and counties will share the costs evenly.

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