Missouri Senate considers banning touchscreen voting

1 year 9 months 4 weeks ago Saturday, March 31 2018 Mar 31, 2018 Saturday, March 31, 2018 3:26:00 PM CDT March 31, 2018 in Continuous News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate is considering whether to permanently unplug the state's touchscreen machines amid concerns that electronic voting machines might be susceptible to hackers.

The proposal, which already passed the House in a 108-31 vote, would require voters to use paper ballots exclusively. Machines could still be used to count votes and to assist disabled voters in marking their ballots. But systems that only recorded votes electronically would be phased out.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Paul Curtman of Washington, said the proposal would help ensure the "highest confidence in the integrity of our election system."

If enacted, the proposal would not be a sea change for the state. Every county in Missouri already uses at least some paper ballots. About two dozen counties also use electronic voting machines that do not require a paper ballot, but those machines still create a paper trail for auditing vote totals.

Maura Browning, the spokeswoman for Missouri's Secretary of State, said none of those machines are connected to the internet, and it is standard practice for those machines to require two keys to access.

Concerns over U.S. election integrity intensified in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. The Department of Homeland has said that Russian government hackers attempted to access election information in a number of states, but there was "no evidence" that votes were changed.

Paper ballots, advocates argue, would pre-empt those types of attacks. Virginia abandoned touchscreen voting last year and reverted to paper ballots. Georgia has considered a similar measure.

Even without the threat of hacking, a 2015 study by the Brennan Center at the New York University School of Law found that the vast majority of states were using machines at least a decade old, and that many machines weren't expected to last much past that. The study noted that Missouri was one of several states that hoped to replace some of its equipment soon, but was unsure of how to pay for it.

During a debate on a House floor, Rep. Pat Conway, Democrat of St. Joseph, expressed concern that the proposal would force local governments to spend money they might not have. Democratic Rep. Doug Beck of St. Louis, who also voted against the proposal, said he had faith in the electronic machines in use in his district.

"There would have to be a widespread conspiracy going on to rig those machines," he said.

The vote tallies in electronic machines are more accurate and produce a paper record, Beck said.

Legislative researchers estimated that reverting to paper ballots would not cost the state government money, but they said costs to local governments were hard to calculate. The St. Louis County Director of Elections, for example, estimated that printing additional paper ballots before the next presidential election would cost almost a quarter of a million dollars.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The capitol dome in Missouri will shine red for the Kansas City Chiefs as the... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, January 29 2020 Jan 29, 2020 Wednesday, January 29, 2020 12:24:00 PM CST January 29, 2020 in News
MIAMI — Brett Veach stands to the side of the Super Bowl's annual media night melee with a... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, January 29 2020 Jan 29, 2020 Wednesday, January 29, 2020 12:14:50 PM CST January 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Patricia Beasley entered University Hospital today fully recovered and with a smile on her face as doctors and... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 29 2020 Jan 29, 2020 Wednesday, January 29, 2020 11:21:00 AM CST January 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Boone Hospital and Stephens College announced a new partnership Wednesday, aimed at developing a nursing program. “Stephens... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 29 2020 Jan 29, 2020 Wednesday, January 29, 2020 10:40:00 AM CST January 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Snowfall overnight and early Wednesday morning is creating slick road conditions around mid-Missouri. Columbia Public Works announced... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, January 29 2020 Jan 29, 2020 Wednesday, January 29, 2020 7:46:00 AM CST January 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Overnight snowfall has prompted a number of school districts in mid-Missouri to close or delay opening. Jefferson... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, January 29 2020 Jan 29, 2020 Wednesday, January 29, 2020 5:53:00 AM CST January 29, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association aims to help answer some questions about the state's young medical marijuana... More >>
12 hours ago Wednesday, January 29 2020 Jan 29, 2020 Wednesday, January 29, 2020 3:06:00 AM CST January 29, 2020 in News
BOONVILLE— Pinnacle Hospital closed its doors in mid-January , and former patients are trying to get their health records. ... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 10:18:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
SOUTH BEACH - Fans from all over came to Ocean Drive Tuesday to see all the national media outlets talk... More >>
17 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 9:43:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Most dogs spend their days playing with toys, getting belly rubs and eating treats. But, one Columbia dog... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 8:40:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in Continuous News
ROCHEPORT— The first Super Bowl game was played in 1967, a lopsided contest between the Green Bay Packers and... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 8:37:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY -- Cole County is conducting its annual Point in Time Count which identifies the number of homeless people... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 8:05:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) - A former Missouri teacher was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for secretly recording videos... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 7:21:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - University of Missouri student Anqi Sun's family lives in Wuhan, China, the place where the coronavirus first started.... More >>
21 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 6:10:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
KINGDOM CITY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol found 36 pounds of marijuana during a stop along Interstate 70 Monday... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 4:31:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Amid the coronavirus outbreak in China, health officials in mid-Missouri warn against public panic. "If there is... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 4:13:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The end of May brought devastation for Jefferson City, and simultaneously, severe flooding. The end of January, however,... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 3:30:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY—The decline of children covered by Medicaid in Missouri has left some lawmakers questioning the Department of Social Services... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 28 2020 Jan 28, 2020 Tuesday, January 28, 2020 3:19:00 PM CST January 28, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 32°
4pm 34°
5pm 32°
6pm 31°
7pm 30°