When 1,800 ballots go uncounted in an election, it’s natural for people to start asking questions.
The county is working to replace the 13-year-old ballot machines that are currently in use and contributed to 1,816 votes going uncounted during the November election (see story on page 14 for more).
The new equipment recommended to the Hays County Commissioners Court by an election technology committee does not create a paper trail, something many residents are calling for in order to restore faith in the county’s voting system.
For counties that use vote centers—where voters can cast their ballot at any polling place on election days—there are no state-approved electronic voting machines that produce a paper trail. Hays County hopes to implement voting centers in the future.
If the Texas Secretary of State’s Office, which oversees elections, approves electronic voting equipment that creates a paper trail for use in voting centers, Hays County could purchase that equipment, and residents’ faith in elections could be restored. But based on the state’s approved voting equipment, creating a paper trail in Hays County may be difficult for the time being.