Region 8 House Members Hope to Upgrade Arkansas' Voting Process

JANUARY 17, 2005 - Posted at 7:58 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Two Democratic state representatives from Region 8 say they plan to introduce legislation that would require paper receipts for touch-screen voting machines in Arkansas.

Representative Ray Kidd of Jonesboro and Representative Denny Sumpter of West Memphis say they want computerized voting devices to print receipts so voters can review their own actions and so election officials can have a paper trail during recounts.

Arkansas is in the process of converting to touch-screen computerized voting, and Kidd says he senses that the voting public is "fed up with our elections and losing faith" in the system.

His proposal would have the machines print out receipts for each ballot cast and those pieces of paper would be placed in a box at the polling site.  Kidd also wants to make sure voters have the option of reviewing their receipt and changing their vote, if necessary, before putting the slip of paper in the storage box.

Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels wants counties to have the option of computerized voting, either with touch-screens or optical-scan devices, by the May 2006 primary elections.  Optical-scan voting uses traditional paper ballots, but a computer is used to read the ballots and count the votes.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)