In today’s progressive and ever changing world, there are all kinds of new voting technologies and electronic voting equipment. This doesn’t mean, however, that paper based voting is entirely a thing of the past. E-voting, as it is commonly called, actually defines any type of voting where electronic processes are used in any way, shape or form, such as to cast the votes or to count them. The use of e-votes allows for faster processing time and is expected to pave the way to voting online completely in the future.
For now, however, paper based e-voting is probably the most commonly used type of voting technology. Through this system, electronic votes are placed using a touchscreen. This is simply a screen, similar to a computer screen, that responds to the user’s touch. So, for example, a person would touch the name of the candidate he wished to vote for in order to cat the vote. The “paper-based” part comes in at the end of the voting process when the touchscreen, which is hooked up to a printer, prints out the ballot. The voter then checks over the ballot to make sure it is correct and then takes it to the election officer. Later, the votes will be counted using an optical scan voting system.
Though many people feel the paper-based system is slowly becoming outdated and hope to move voting completely online, there are many good things about this system. First of all, since the ballot is printed out after each vote, there is always “proof” of which vote was cast, making it impossible to cheat during counting. Furthermore, all ballots are numbered, making it obvious when one or several ballots are missing. There are, of course, some kinks that still need to be ironed out with the system. Sometimes, the counting machine may falsely read the ballots accidentally, often due to stray marks made on them or being loaded improperly. For this reason, votes are still recounted by hand.