Nov 3, 2008
Is electronic voting on its way out? For the first time in nearly three decades, there will be a decline in the number of people casting their ballots electronically, reports Election Data Services, Inc. (EDS). The Manassas, Va.-based political consulting firm reports that, compared with the 2006 election, nearly 10 million fewer voters will use e-voting machines Tuesday.
According to EDS, more than 55 million voters (about 32.6 percent of the 169 million registered in this country) in 1,068 counties nationwide (there are more than 3,100 counties in the U.S.) will be able to vote electronically, fewer than the 1,142 counties that used electronic systems in 2006.
E-voting, which lets voters choose their candidates using a touch screen computer, appears to be falling out of vogue. Over the past two years, all of the 86 counties nationwide that have changed voting systems have adopted optical scan systems rather than DRE (direct recorded election) electronic voting machines. With an optical scan voting system, voter mark their candidates on a paper ballot, which is then scanned into a computer (much the same way cashiers ring up food in a supermarket). More than 59 percent of the nation's counties will be using optical scan voting systems for this election, representing over 56.2 percent of the country's registered voters. Optical Scan systems are expected to be used in 41 states, while electronic voting systems are still in use in 26 states.
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