States Brace for Election's Tech Snarls

New systems, high turnout will likely bring trouble
By Sam Biddle,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2008 6:46 AM CDT
States Brace for Election's Tech Snarls
A Florida Division of Election employee tests one of Sarasota County's touch-screen voting machines during an audit in Sarasota, Fla. Many states are shifting away from touch-screen voting machines.   (AP Photo/Steve Nesius, File)

As states prepare for millions of voters using new ballot systems in November, many officials are expecting serious logistical headaches across the country. About half of all voters will use different machines than the last presidential election. Most voters—up from 49% in 2006—will be using paper ballots that will be scanned as states drop problematic and controversial touch-screen equipment.

New machines and an unusually high expected voter turnout, combined with a shortage of experienced staff to man the polls on Election Day, could spell long lines and lost votes in many areas. “In previous elections, the question has been, ‘Will the system work for each voter?’ But this year the real question is whether the system can handle the load of all these voters," said one expert. (More election stories.)

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