Early Florida voting goes flawlessly

MIAMI, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Turnout was light but Florida voters reported no problems with new optical scan equipment after the first day of early voting in local elections.

The new equipment used in Broward and Miami-Dade counties provides the paper trail now required under state law. More than a dozen counties had to replace most of their touch-screen machines, reported the Miami Herald Tuesday.


Florida was the center of attention in the 2000 presidential elections because of the infamous "hanging chads" the shards of hand-punched holes in the ballots that caused widespread dispute over the vote outcome.

''It's very simple,'' said Barbara Hawayak of Miami Beach, who voted at City Hall using the one page ballot which is then fed into a scanning machine. "You fill in the little bubbles like a multiple-choice test.''

The paper ballots can be examined in a recount to provide a clear record of voters' intentions, say county officials. with some early voters expressing support.

''I felt more comfortable because of the paper ballot,'' said Michael Aller of Miami Beach. ``I had something in my hand that I created, that I touched, that I handed in to them.''


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