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Some early voters upset about lack of paper ballots

 KESQ News   26 October 2004 
It's a week until Election Day, but many valley voters have already cast their ballots. Early voting has been going on for the past week with electronic machines. But tonight there's controversy as some valley voters complain about the lack of paper ballots at those early voting locations.

At early voting stations like Palm Desert's Westfield Shoppingtown, you'll find long lines stretching out the door. But you won't find paper ballots.

“They told us it was only e-voting.”

And for Steven Lifshey, that was a problem. Like a growing number of voters across the country, he thinks electronic voting is flawed.

And I don't trust machines and I came here only to find out I can't do paper ballot.”

And the Registrar of Voters says that's because providing paper ballots at the county's three early voting stations would put too much of a strain on the system. The registrar says they would have keep more than 200 different ballots on hand at each station, depending on which precinct a voter is from. At the Palm Desert early voting station, election workers say they've only had a handful of people request paper ballots.

“They just wanted a paper trail. They felt more comfortable with a paper trail.”

But thousands of other valley voters have cast their ballots electronically with no complaints.

“Electronic voting is foolproof. I don't see how anyone could tamper with it.”

“I trust it. It's nice to have an alternative if you feel that way, but I trust the system.”

But those who don't may be out of luck for now.

With no paper ballots at early voting stations, anyone who doesn't want to vote electronically will have to wait for an absentee ballot in the mail or just wait until Election Day.
Lifshay says he shouldn't have to do that. He's says he's filing a complaint with the county registrar over the lack of paper ballots. But in the meantime, anyone who votes early will have to vote electronically.

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