Greg Gordon | McClatchy Newspapers
last updated: August 15, 2008 08:13:15 PM
WASHINGTON — Hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding that have gone to upgrade the nation's voting machines since 2003 were used to purchase touch-screen systems that many states are now scrapping because of concerns about their security and reliability.
State governments in Alaska, California, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Tennessee and New Mexico have decided to replace their touch-screen electronic machines. While some states have completed the switch, others won't finish replacing the machines until 2010. Nationwide, the federal government spent $1.2 billion on new voting machines between 2003 and 2007.
Optical scanning equipment is becoming the preferred replacement because, unlike touch-screens, it preserves each voter's original paper ballot in the event of a recount.