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Voters want their paper ballots back

Nov. 15, 2006 at 8:33 PM

SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A Florida county is dumping its touch-screen voting machines in favor of paper ballots.

Sarasota County voters last week approved a charter amendment calling for "verified paper ballots," making it virtually impossible to retain the controversial $4.7 million touch-screen system, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The county will switch to optical-scan machines that allow voters to mark paper ballots with pencil or pen as if they were taking a multiple-choice test.

The change in Sarasota County comes amid a recount of the disputed race for U.S. House District 13, for the seat vacated by former Rep. Katherine Harris, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.

The newspaper said critics suspect the machines prevented some 18,000 votes in the race between Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings from being recorded Nov. 7.

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