Last minute decision

Voting machines and their flaws are not generally high on the list of topics for discussion among voters, but this year Secretary of State Debra Bowen has dropped a bombshell for many county election officials. After a study of voting machines used throughout the state, Bowen announced on Friday night that touch screen voting machines can no longer be used for general voting, although some people with disabilities will be allowed to use them. This means that many counties will be scrambling to find alternative ways of counting votes for the February primary election. Several counties may need to rely on hand-counting paper ballots, a process that could delay election results for weeks. In this age of instant news, waiting one day, much less a week will be irritating to many. Nonetheless, the accuracy of the vote is the most important consideration. Secretary Bowen’s careful study of voting machines in the state may cause some anxious waiting, but we owe her a debt of gratitude for taking her job seriously and safeguarding the validity of our elections.

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