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.