Why the Voting Technology Makes Some People Nervous

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Why the Voting Technology Makes Some People Nervous

It makes it possible to vote at any vote center. But, what if it messes up?

INDIANAPOLIS--The technology that makes it possible in several counties for you to vote at any vote center also makes some people nervous. While the machine uses paper, they use it by printing a bar code, along with the names, that is then inserted into a tabulation machine that records the vote.

"There's no like chads or marks or nothing, just bar code. So, if the machine gets it wrong," said one man who was voting in Broad Ripple. "It just printed a bar code on the paper. It didn't print my elections."

The machine does print the names of the people you selected.

The technology has made voting available for anyone who is registered at any vote center. The machine scans your ID or driver's license. It automatically pulls up the ballot for your part of the city. You use a touch screen to make selections, and the vote is recorded on a sheet of paper. You take that paper and insert it into a separate machine, where the vote is recorded.

If there's a malfunction or if anything goes wrong at one precinct, you can vote at another one.

Indianapolis City-County Councilor John Barth, running again for the District 7 seat, said he believes the flexibility is good for providing more options for people.

"I think it's great and a positive development. We've already had a couple of voters from far outside the area," he said at 7 a.m. "One voter from Speedway stopped by this morning. She was on her way to work and thought it was easier and more convenient to vote at the MLK Center."

But, the technology still bothers some people. The man who spoke with WIBC News in Broad Ripple said he's nervous about the accuracy of the system.

"If they got it wrong, if the machine got something off in its little bar code, consistently, there's no way for them to go back and say, no, he did, or there is a hanging chad or that kind of thing."

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis

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