Thursday April 06, 2006


Chances Dim for Paper Ballots for 2006 Elections


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Senate Wednesday postponed debate on a voting machine bill for two days, further dimming chances that Marylanders will be able to use paper ballots for this year's elections.


The House of Delegates passed a bill unanimously that would require the state to scuttle the electronic touchscreen voting machines for the primary and general elections this year and use paper ballots that would be counted by optical scan machines.


But the Senate version, on hold since last week, would retain the Diebold machines for at least this year and require that the state have some kind of voting system by 2008 that would produce a paper trail that could be used for recounts in disputed elections.


Senate President Mike Miller says he doesn't think a bill will pass this year mandating use of paper ballots. But he says anything can happen before the session ends at midnight Monday.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.

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