Florida Hopes to Avoid Vote Recount Nightmare

Eight years ago in Florida, all eyes were on the hanging chad. The chads are gone and so are the ATM-style touch screen voting machines. Theyve been replaced by voting machines called optical scan, which provide an old-fashioned paper trail, something many critics felt was missing in the event of a recount.

The entire state has switched to the optical scan technology. More than half of the states 10.75 million voters will use the system for the first time and for most Floridians, this will be the third voting system in eight years, leaving plenty of room for confusion.

… Floridians will mark their vote for president and other offices with a pen, by filling in an oval or by connecting a line on a paper ballot. The machines then use optical scanners to read the paper ballots, which are retained for verification purposes in the event of any problems.

Elections staff must be trained on the new voting system. So do the thousands of Election Day temporary workers and volunteers who will staff thousands of polling locations across the state.

… oting education is not limited to poll workers — it’s needed for the general public as well.

The state is spending millions of dollars to educate the public. Elections supervisors statewide are broadcasting public service announcements, distributing DVDs and offering community outreach classes on how to use the optical scan machines.

What if there are problems on Election Day?

via CNN: Florida hopes optical scan machines avoid recount repeat

“We have a system, a GPS, radio-dispatched technical team that can be anywhere in the county within 10 or 15 minutes, to any site if there’s an issue,” says [Buddy Johnson, supervisor of elections in Florida’s Hillsborough County.]

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