Court Votes to Remove Voting Machines from Election, Turns to Paper Ballots and Hand Counting Only

A county in Arkansas is joining a growing number of localities turning against electronic voting machines and going back to paper ballots as more and more Americans come to distrust the reliability and safety of voting machines. A Cleburne County quorum court voted last week to end the use of the electronic vote machines and go back to reliable paper ballots, requiring all future elections to be hand counted, according to KARK-TV. “These voting machines, which are really just computers, do not follow US or Arkansas election laws which clearly state that voters have the right to verify that their votes are properly being represented when entered into the tabulation computer,” Arkansas Voter Integrity Initiative (AVII) CEO Colonel Conrad Reynolds said in a Dec. 19 press release. “We are told by election officials to check the names on the ballot summary card before we cast it into the tabulator, but the tabulator does not read the printed names on the ballot summary card – it only reads the barcodes. I don’t read barcode, so I cannot verify that my vote was properly recorded,” Reynolds added. In Arkansas there is no state-wide process and state law allows each county to choose their voting process. Cleburne County Justice of the Peace Jacque Martin said that there are just too many voters who have no faith in the machines. “It’s time we take back and return to having elections we can have faith in – with transparency and integrity,” Martin said. Last year, AVII sued the state to try and get rid of the machines, and the group hopes its success in Cleburne County can be emulated across the other 74 county quorum courts in the state. In its announcement of the lawsuit, Clint Lancaster, the AVII lead attorney and a Saline County election commissioner, said, “AVII has taken a major step forward in election integrity today. The voting machines in Arkansas violate state and federal law designed to protect the voter’s right to confirm his or her ballot before it is cast. This lawsuit will restore confidence in the electorate and bring back transparency to the voting process. Our firm is excited about the future and to represent an organization that is not afraid to fight for the citizens of Arkansas.” The effort in Arkansas to replace voting machines is not a new issue. Back in 2020, officials in 31 states were exploring and debating the need to replace machines, cancel provider contracts, or go back to paper balloting. Last year, ahead of the 2022 midterm election, experts from across the country were warning states to return to paper ballots. In Georgia, for instance, a group of 13 experts sent a letter to the State Election Board and to Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, warning them to immediately end the use of Dominion Voting Systems touchscreen voting machines, The Associated Press reported. In Arizona, Donald Trump even backed a lawsuit calling for officials to jettison the machines and go back to paper ballots. During a rally in April of last year, Trump said, “Every state should follow the lead of the patriots in Arizona where yesterday Kari Lake and Mark Finchem filed a lawsuit to ban electronic voting machines and replace them with a transparent hand count.” In November, it was even alleged that the Dominion system broke down in New Jersey and forced Mercer County voters to go back to paper ballots. Americans are not alone with worries over voting machines. Germany has also eschewed machines and has stayed with hand counting paper ballots. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was incensed by the voting troubles seen all across the country, mostly in Democrat-run areas, during the 2022 midterm elections. “What we know is that the mechanics of our elections are not working almost exclusively in states and cities run by Democrats,” Carlson said in November. “Are they cheating? Are they disorganized? Again, not relevant.” “The system is obviously out of control. It’s flaky, and systems like that cannot be, by definition, reliable. Would you let a Maricopa County elections official fly your aircraft? Probably not. That’s a disaster,” he added. “Democracy is a faith-based system. You have to believe in it in order for it to work, but who could believe in this?” It is a good thing for the residents of Cleburne County that their election officials are working to bring integrity back to elections. It would be nice if this could send a message and the idea spreads to the rest of the country. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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