Maryland to use paper ballots in 2016 elections

Maryland is going back to paper ballots after trying electronic ones for 11 years. Photo: Paper ballots/ AP

MARYLAND, November 22, 2013 — Maryland voters had better start sharpening their No. 2 pencils between now and 2016.

After a short experiment with electronic voting machines, the state has decided to move back to paper ballots for their 2016 election after long standing voter outcry and fear that computer based voting may lead to some ballots not being counted.

Maryland’s electronic voting machine has been controversial ever since its first institution in 2002. Nevertheless, the switch back is not a clear cut choice. Converting back to paper ballots will be a heavy financial burden on the state.

There is also the prospect of deciding on which paper ballot system will work for Maryland’s voters. In the wake of Palm Beach County’s butterfly ballot controversy in 2000, electronic voting systems are often thought to be more voter-friendly.

Maryland will have to shop around for a paper ballot system that they think makes voters comfortable. Once they have found that system they will need to do “extensive public outreach because voters in Maryland have been using a very different voting system” according to Linda Lamone of the State Board of Elections.

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Ryley Trahan

Ryley J. Trahan is a writer and physics teacher in Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, in Fredericksburg Virginia, with undergraduate degrees in English and Physics. He loves comic books and super heroes. He also writes a blog about Physics in New Media.

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