New proposal would only allow paper ballots in Missouri -

New proposal would only allow paper ballots in Missouri

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

A St. Charles County lawmaker is pushing for a proposal that would get rid of electronic voting machines in Missouri.

State Senator Bob Onder-R, Lake St. Louis, is the sponsor of a bill that would make paper ballots the only type of ballots available in Missouri when voters go to the polls. Onder has previously expressed doubts about the accuracy of electronic voting machines during recounts.

The proposal comes in midst of a probe into problems with paper ballots in St. Louis County. On April 5, many precincts ran out of ballots or had ballots meant for other towns or wards. As a result, lots of voters were turned away.

Only paper ballots were used on April 5. County election officials believe the mess would have been avoided if touch screen voting was available. Only paper ballots were used because officials believed there was not enough time between the presidential primaries and the April elections to properly test the machines.

St. Louis County Elections Director Eric Fey told News 4 that in the 10 years that electronic voting has been used in St. Louis County, accuracy has never been a problem.

“We’ve had over 20 recounts since we had this equipment in 2006 and in every case, we take that paper roll, unroll it, and the book counts always match up with the certified election results,” said Fey. “In no case does it match with paper ballots because we have voter intent mistakes.”

Former St. Louis Election Commissioner Ed Martin said the problem is not the method of voting, but who counts the votes.

“You can have paper ballots that disappear in the trunk of a car on the way back to headquarters and you can have an electronic system where someone could monkey with it, so there’s security concerns about that,” said Martin.

St. Louis County election officials say 8 in 10 voters in the county prefer to use the electronic machines.

News 4 reached out to Onder for comment, but he did not respond.

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