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Paper Trail Votes

Leon County's elections supervisor says the scan system in place locally should be trouble free, but warns of problems in other counties.

It's clear that when you speak with him he is not a supporter of the electronic voting system. He encouraged the use of the optical scan system, which Leon County has used since 1992 because he says it's more accurate, reliable, and it leaves behind the so-called "paper trail".

“It's not so much the technology of the electronic voting systems which the computer ate my vote campaign opposes, but the lack of a verifiable paper trail that has many concerned.”

Alex Joyce, a Florida voter, says, "If there is an automatic recount triggered then we have to be able to verify everyone's vote and there has to be a paper trail involved.”

Sancho denounced any vote being lost which he says could happen if touch screen systems are used. He touted the success of Leon County's voting system, the optical scanner, which is used by 51 other Florida counties.

"In 2000 Leon County had the lowest error rate in the state. In fact, it was rated a perfect election by the National Institute of Standards and Technology," says Sancho.

Sancho said while the scan system is not state of the art, it's cheaper, simpler and more accurate than the electronic system. However, there is another side of the story. A spokesperson with the Republican Party of Florida says he is confident that the touch screen systems work and will accurately tabulate votes in the upcoming election.

Sancho did add that Leon County was the number one urban voting county during the 2000 election. He attributes that to the scan system and the voter education. He says that we have to deal with the reality of the situation.

The costs of switching can be extensive, so he is suggesting people to vote by paper ballot through the mail. In fact, he has the message for anyone concerned about their vote being lost.


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