Sixteen Florida counties will use electronic voting machines that don’t leave a paper trail on Election Day. Gov. Jeb Bush says he is pleased with a court ruling that threw out a challenge. He calls it a dose of reality.
"People should know that their vote will be recorded and that there is going to be a means by which to determine in some recount if it is necessary that their vote was recorded properly," says Gov. Bush.
An analysis of the March preference primary showed that the electronic machines were 10 times more likely to have under-votes than optical scan machines that had a paper trail.
Advocates who challenged the machines' lack of a verifiable paper trail argued the public wants more protections than they are getting.
Alma Gonzalez, a union lawyer, says, "For the voters to feel confident that their votes have been counted, that their voices are being heard, they need to have something that’s concrete."
The Internet is thriving with spoofs that question the reliability of the machines and Jeb Bush’s steadfast support of them. The only remedy says Gonzalez is voting early.
"When you drag your feet and you have to be dragged in kicking and screaming and wrestled to the ground to do the right thing for Florida voters, then sometimes it gets to be too late and we have to take a practical approach and that’s why we are telling people to vote early."
While the battle to require a paper trail for this election has been lost, advocates promise to fight the fight again before 2006.