As a New York Times editorial last month noted (Mar. 9, 2005), "Optical-scan machines produce a better paper record than touch-screen machines because it is one the voter has actually filled out, not a receipt that the voter must check for accuracy."
For states to receive federal funding for 2006 under the "Help America Vote Act," they need to provide a way for blind voters and limited-mobility voters to cast a secret ballot at polling places on Election Day.
The AutoMARK machine lets voters with disabilites fill out the same optical-scan ballots as other voters.
In January, I wrote approvingly about a demonstration of the AutoMARK I attended in St. Paul, Minnesota.
This Friday, Bowie County, Texas decided to keep their optical-scan ballot system, and to supplement it with the AutoMARK ("Bowie County committee picks e-voting vendor" by Greg Bischof, Texarkana Gazette, Apr 23, 2005:)
NEW BOSTON, Texas-After a full month of study, the Bowie County Voting Systems Committee voted Friday to select...AutoMARK mainly because the county is more familiar with the use of the vendor's paper ballot and scan-in method.
Committee member and Precinct 4 Commissioner Carl Teel said having a tangible paper ballot offers more reassurance and security than electronically recorded ballots.
The Bowie County Commissioners Court is the next step in the voting machine purchasing process for that Texas county.