On election day, voters in local municipalities fill out a paper ballot and then feed the ballot into an electronic voting machine. These machines tabulate votes and count the number of ballots entered. While local communities don’t use computer ballots or fully electronic systems for voting, other counties across the country do.
Here’s what local clerks say about computer ballots versus paper ballots.
Thomas Broecker, Fenton Township operations manager/deputy clerk, said he’s not opposed to electronic voting, but until he’s convinced that an electronic system can’t be hacked, the township will stay with paper ballots.
“I completely support paper ballots because they provide a fool-proof trail to reconstruct the election results if necessary,” he said, adding that Michigan uses a paper-based system, which decreases a lot of questions and worries on if election results were hacked.
Sue Walsh, Fenton clerk, said, it’s hard to comment because “I don’t have the knowledge regarding electronic ballots. My first and foremost concern would be the integrity of the election. There is so much distrust throughout the United States in regards to elections, security would be my biggest concern.
“In my experience, I have found that in the quest to overly simplify a process, we tend to overly complicate it and for the ones in the trenches, it can be a procedural nightmare. I suppose I am old fashioned, I prefer my paper ballots as I can verify and prove my election results quickly and most importantly, with confidence.”
Debbie Miller, Rose Township clerk, said she would not want to use a fully electronic voting system.
“My goal is to always protect the integrity of the election and election process therefore I would always want paper ballots if or when you have to do a recount,” she said.
Argentine Township Clerk Denise Graves said she prefers paper ballots because then there’s a permanent record of the election results.