Sen. Nelson's Bill Would Mandate Paper Trail for Ballots

TAMPA -

The bill is intended to prevent a replay of both the contested 2000 presidential election, as well as the recent vote in Sarasota, where 18,000 votes for Congress were not cast.

Sen. Bill Nelson's proposed legislation would require all electronic voting systems - including touch-screen machines - produce a checkable paper record. Maria Speiser is his spokeswoman.

SPEISER: You want people to have confidence in the outcome of elections. Otherwise, they don't see their government as legitimate... We have to do everything possible to accurately count and verify votes. And that is the essence of a democracy.

More than 20 states don't require ballots to have a paper trail. Gov. Charlie Crist has proposed spending $32.5 million to replace the state's touch-screen machines with optical-scanners, which provide an automatic paper record of votes.

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