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Most MO voters still using punch card ballots

October 21, 2003
By: Aidian Holder
State Capital Bureau

With just over a year left until the next presidental election, most Missouri voters still use the infamous punch card ballots to cast their votes. And as Aidian Holder reports, that's not likely to change before Missourians go to the polls next year.

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Thirty seven Missouri counties, with almost two thirds of the state's population, still use punch card voting.

In the wake of the 2000 election fiasco, calls to update America's voting systems prompted Congress to require that punch cards be replaced in time for the 2004 election.

But Boone County Elections Chief Wendy Noren says problems at the federal level make it hard for states to comply.

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FILL: Noren says the federal process is running over a year behind, which keeps counties from making the needed improvments.

With the Missouri Secretary of State's OK, counties can seek a waiver of the law until 2006.

From the state Capitol, I'm Aidian Holder

Date: 10/21/2003

By: Aidian Holder

State Capital Bureau

Despite federal laws requiring new systems, most Missouri voters are still using punch card ballots. Aidian (uh-dee-an) Holder has that story.

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Almost two thirds of the state's voters still use punch cards to cast their vote. After the 2000 election fiasco, Congress passed a law requiring all punch card voting machines be replaced in time for the 2004 presidental election.

But the federal government was supposed to tell states and counties what standards they needed to meet in order to comply with the law, and they haven't lived up to their end of the deal.

Wendy Noren is Boone County's chief elections officer and an expert on voting systems. She says local governments can't go forward until they're given some direction.

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Contents: Noren says no jurisdiction will spend millions updating voting machines until their sure the new machines will comply with federal standards.

Noren says it's too late for counties to update their systems for 2004, even if the feds set the standards tommorow.

From the state Capitol, I'm Aidian Holder