Kane In Your Corner: New bill would require New Jersey voting machines to leave paper trail

Four Democrats in the New Jersey Assembly have introduced a bill that would require voting machines to leave a paper trail of each vote cast.

A new bill proposed by some New Jersey lawmakers would require voting machines to leave paper trail.

A new bill proposed by some New Jersey lawmakers would require voting machines to leave paper trail. (3/13/17)

TRENTON - Four Democrats in the New Jersey Assembly have introduced a bill that would require voting machines to leave a paper trail of each vote cast.

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker says previous equipment failures and programming errors have resulted in costly disputes that cast doubt on election results. Zwicker says paper records would assure voters that their ballots are counted properly

“We want to give people confidence that when they vote, their vote counts and that it went toward the person they were intending to vote for,” Zwicker says.

Currently, the requirement for the purchase of new voting machines or retrofitting of existing machines to produce a paper record has been suspended until funding is made available.

“We know that computers can be hacked. We read about it all the time,” Zwicker says. “The best thing we can have is a paper trail.”

A Princeton professor famously proved how easy it is to hack New Jersey voting machines, but since the machines aren't connected to the internet, they'd need to be attacked one at a time.

Hacking isn’t the only concern. Sometimes the machines just do not work correctly.

A vote machine on Super Tuesday 2008 showed 14 votes for Hillary Clinton and seven votes for Barack Obama. But the machine also showed that the total number of votes was 20, and not 21 – one vote was missing.

New Jersey lawmakers have tried to overhaul voting machines before, by ordering them replaced in 2004. But state election officials said they didn't have the money for new ones.

The new bill requires that each voting machine that is purchased or leased following the bill's effective date would be required to produce a permanent paper record.

Zwicker emphasizes that although he would like to see voting machines better secured, there is no evidence of any voter fraud in the state.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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