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Group urges paper ballots

By Rachel Lippmann, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – An elections watchdog group in Missouri is encouraging voters to use paper ballots rather than touch screen devices to cast ballots on Tuesday.

Missourians for Honest Elections says paper ballots reduce lines because they do not require special equipment and can be used anywhere. Steering committee member Phillip Michaels says voters who choose to use paper ballots outside of the kiosks or booths shouldn't be concerned about privacy.

"For somebody to know who you or what you voted for, they're going to have to work pretty hard to figure out what you actually marked on that ballot cause it's really long," Michaels said.

The group is also concerned about the accuracy of votes on electronic machines. Missouri law requires them to have a paper record, but the group says it's only as good as the software, which isn't perfect.

Pamela Smith, the president of Verified Voting, a group that encourages the use of paper ballots, says it's the responsibility of the voter to check any kind of ballot - including paper ones.

"If even a percentage of voters check, then it gives you a higher level of confidence that your manual audit is going to provide you with the information you need about the system is performing," she said.

Verified Voting was part of a group that recently gave Missouri high marks for elections preparation, including for its post-election audits.


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