Democracy Is Not Cheap

Posted in 80th Legislature at 11:38 am by wcnews

It is cheaper than a tax cut and much harder to get through the GOP controlled Lege though. We all know that voting machines are suspect and that we need a verifiable paper trail, at the least, to be able to successfully audit them. But with the news that it may cost $40 million - $50 million dollars Republicans are balking, Cost may stall ballot paper trail.

A paper-trail system would consist of a printer in a sealed case attached to every voting machine that would let voters check their votes against the receipt. The paper trail could then be consulted in the event of a recount.

Kolkhorst described her bill as a work in progress, largely because it does not address how to pay for the additional voting equipment.

“I could have fainted when I got the fiscal note on this bill,” Kolkhorst told the committe


Both Kolkhorst and the committee chairman, state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, said they would not support legislation that would amount to an unfunded mandate. Berman said he will keep the bill pending in committee until the funding issue is resolved, even if that means not passing a paper-trail bill until the next legislative session, in 2009.

State Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, a committee member, said the urgency of the issue means lawmakers can’t wait until the next session. He said the issue should be addressed before the 2008 election because too many voters don’t trust electronic voting.

I know that it’s not a tax cut, or busting the spending cap, but relatively speaking, as compared to the tax cut that was just allowed for, this is a drop in the bucket. Especially when it’s taken into consideration that this will make our help make sure our votes are counted as they were cast.

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