August 10, 2020

Back to basics: Another Mississippi county plans to return to paper voting ballots

Another Mississippi county is shifting back to voting on paper ballots.

The Oxford Eagle reports that Lafayette County supervisors are seeking bids for new voting machines.

Since 2007, the county has used touchscreen machines, but the bids call for machines that would electronically count paper ballots.

Supervisor Kevin Frye said that if there’s ever a question about the outcome of an election, workers could retrieve paper ballots and count them by hand.

Of Mississippi’s 82 counties, 12 are now using paper ballots, said Bill Lowe of voting-machine company Election Systems & Software. Those include Hinds, Harrison, Madison and DeSoto counties, four of the six most populous counties in Mississippi.

Lowe said machines sold by his company will scan ballots once they have been filled out, letting voters know if they didn’t vote in any races or voted too many times in a race. He also said paper ballots can help reduce lines at the polls, allowing workers to quickly set up additional voting stations.