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Ballot botches need to be fixed.
Walker County Messenger, March 10, 2004

Problems with election-day ballots are not unusual, but Walker County seems to have more than its share of voting confusion.

Getting accurate totals in Walker again proved difficult on Tuesday, March 2, as county voters headed to the polls to choose a Democratic presidential candidate and make their choice for the state flag.

The problems arose March 2 around 7:30 p.m., when a Diebold computer technician began feeding wrong totals to the media. The problem was not fixed until more than two hours after the polls closed. By then, neighboring counties were tidying up their tallies.

Whatever the problems are, one thing is certain: the troubles need to be fixed now.

If we are having these complications in an election with only two questions, like March 2, imagine the chaos and aggravation in November when America makes its choice for president and many other offices.

Electronic voting machines have been used for six elections ? three of which were for the contentious State House District 1 race between Mike Snow and Jay Neal. Ballot headaches have marred each one.

The more computerized and technical counting ballots seems to get, the more problems Walker County seems to experience. We thought computers could be the solutions to the mess, but in our view, they have only become part of it.

Some poll workers in last Tuesday?s Democratic presidential primary and flag referendum said elections ran smoother with paper ballots.

The right to vote is one of our country?s most precious commodities. As Americans, we can punch our ballots and have a fair say in who leads us.

However, many people do not vote because they do not feel their vote makes a difference. Considering all the problems we have experienced here, those cynics in Walker have even more reason not to darken the doorway of an election precinct.

Walker County should do all it can to fix the problems and bring more people to the polls. If not, our pollsters will likely have far fewer ballots to worry about in November.

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