Patricia Sullivan
Washington Post

June 9, 2012

When Alexandria voters turn up at the polls Tuesday, many are going to confront old-school technology — paper ballots.

Thanks to activists who objected to electronic voting machines because they did not provide a paper trail and because they feared hacking, the Virginia General Assembly in 2007 banned local governments from buying touch-screen machines when it came time to replace existing electronic systems.

Now that time has come. Voters will be using a new eScan system, which requires voters to mark their paper ballots with blue or black ink in the polling booth and then line up to scan the ballots themselves into a machine. The votes will be recorded electronically.

(…) Other jurisdictions, such as Fairfax County, began using similar equipment in 2008. But anyone who has watched first-time users try to operate any new technology might have doubts about how seamless the process will be.

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