Voters say paper ballots easier, take less time

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YADKINVILLE, NC — Across the Piedmont many counties have had issues with touchscreen voting, but counties using paper ballots haven’t run into any problems, their boards of election report.

Montgomery, Randolph, Rockingham, Stokes, Yadkin, and Wilkes Counties all use paper ballots where voters use pencils to color in ovals next to the candidates of their choice.

Wilkes County Board of Elections Chairman Jerry Swaim said the county had the option to switch to touch screens in 2006, but decided to stick with paper.

“We chose the paper ballots because our citizens are accustomed to voting on paper ballots,” Swaim said. “In addition to that [touchscreen voting machines] are very expensive and in order to have enough machines and prevent having lengthy waits and long lines on election day we decided to use paper ballots.”

The end result for counties like Wilkes is an easy voting period with none of the issues the touchscreen counties have had.

In rare cases, voters attempting to vote for Mitt Romney have had their screen touches register for Barack Obama.

The county election boards say the issue is a calibration error with the machines. Elections directors in multiple counties have all said it’s an easy fix and that each person who experienced this error eventually got to vote for Romney, if that’s what they intended to do.

Voters and election boards have reported the same error in Guilford, Forsyth, Davidson, and Davie Counties. No error’s have been reported in Alamance or Surry Counties, where touch screens are also used.

Voters in the paper ballot counties appreciate the simplicity the method offers.

“All I did was fill in bubbles,” said Wilkes County voter George Clinton Triplett.

“I colored outside the lines a little bit, but I made sure I voted for the one I wanted to,” said Wilkes County voter Angie Sarchiapone.

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