City Is First In Missouri To Use New Touch-Screen Voting
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 21, 2006
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI--Voters with disabilities in St. Louis were among the first in the state to cast a private ballot on new touch-screen voting machines during Tuesday's municipal elections.
The new electronic machines are replacing the old punch-card ballots -- made famous in the 2000 general election for their "hanging", "dimpled" and "pregnant" chads. The touch screens allow most voters with disabilities to make their selections without needing help from others. They also have a paper trail for recounts, in case an election is disputed.
The federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) required states and counties to have at least one accessible voting system in each polling place by the first of this year. A nation-wide study released earlier this month found that just 31of the 50 states had met that HAVA deadline.
St. Louis elections officials spent $2.1 million in federal money to purchase the machines, the Associated Press reported.
A Board of Election official said that touch-screen machines would replace all other types of ballot systems by 2009-2010, and that local funds would be used to purchase them.
"St. Louis among state's first to use touch-screen voting machines" (Associated Press)
"Report: Nineteen States Missed HAVA Accessible Polling Deadline" -- February 8, 2006 (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)