States have abandoned electronic voting machines in droves, ensuring that most voters will be casting their ballots by hand on Election Day.
With many electronic voting machines more than a decade old, and states lacking the funding to repair or replace them, officials have opted to return to the pencil-and-paper voting that the new technology was supposed to replace.
Nearly 70 percent of voters will be casting ballots by hand on Tuesday, according to Pamela Smith, president of election watchdog Verified Voting.
“Paper, even though it sounds kind of old school, it actually has properties that serve the elections really well,” Smith said.
It’s an outcome few would have predicted after the 2000 election, when the battle over “hanging chads” in the Florida recount spurred a massive, $3 billion federal investment in electronic voting machines.