Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Paper ballot bill passes Maryland House

I have not seen any press reports about it yet, but according to a source of mine, yesterday, the Maryland House passed an enhanced version of the bill that passed the Maryland Senate last week. The bill requires paper ballots with in-precinct optical scan counting. Some provisions were added addressing disability access. The implementation of audit is left to the board of elections. I have not seen the final bill yet, but if this is all true, then it is a positive step. Now we need some proper audit requirements and for the governor to sign this bill and Maryland will switch from having one of the worst voting systems in the country to having one of the best. The transition to optical scan will happen by the 2010 election. I think it's a shame not to do this by 2008, but on balance, I will take it, considering that without this bill, we'd probably continue using DREs for a long time.