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San Diego County to Use Paper Ballots in Presidential Primary

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Aired 4/19/09

San Diego's Registrar of Voters is sorting out the changes she'll have to make to comply with the Secretary of State's new conditions for electronic voting machines. KPBS reporter Alison St John has details.

San Diego’s Registrar of Voters, Deborah Seiler, says three quarters of the Diebold touch-screen voting machines bought by the County for $30 million will have to stay in storage. Seiler says she is still analyzing the new conditions placed on electronic voting, but one thing is clear.

Seiler : The bottom line is that we know that for the 2008 elections -- except for one unit in each polling place that will be used by people with disabilities -- we are going to be voting on paper.

Seiler says all the electronic ballots submitted by the disabled using touch-screen machines will have to be counted by hand. Everyone else will have their paper ballots counted probably by optical scan, though she is still analyzing the consequences of [Secretary of State Debra] Bowen’s decision.

Seiler says San Diego County also plans to encourage more people to vote absentee, which allows voters to send in their paper ballots to be counted early.

Alison St John KPBS News.

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