GREAT BEND, Kansas-It may seem like a step backwards, but the Barton County Election Office says going from electronic to paper ballots has actually been requested by some residents.
“I think people are comfortable with paper, I think they like to be able to see their selections,” says Donna Zimmerman who is a Barton County Election Officer.
The plan is to have the paper balloting system in within the next two years.
“The trend with elections is now returning back to paper, and I think that there are some people that are uncomfortable with electronic voting, and so the vendors are selling paper voting processes now,” says Zimmerman.
The paper ballots would be counted trough a scanner. Zimmerman says the time to count results should remain about the same.
“We’re hoping that we are able to provide results as quickly as we have in the past, we’re looking at precinct tabulators where the ballots would be counted at the precincts as opposed to central tabulate where they’re brought in here and tabulated.”
The county has over eighty electronic polling devices but when they move back to paper voting they’ll cut that number down to twenty-five.
Each polling place will keep one electronic device for those with disabilities.
They are hoping that less electronic devices will mean that the cost stays down.
“We’re trying to save as much money as we can out of our budget every year so we can hopefully transfer money into reserves, so we wouldn’t have any debt when we try and buy this.”