Stolen, forged, falsified – these are the words heard in many countries around the world, in talk about elections. In September CNN reported that аuthorities in Michigan were investigating how a missing voting machine from the state wound up for sale on eBay for $1,200. And here a number of questions arise. Does a perfect electoral system exist?
“We are in the democracy business,” said Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon.
Тhe evidence for that is in the state’s election results
“For three of the last four elections we have been No. 1 in the U.S. in voter turnout,” Simon said. “In the last presidential election in 2020 – that was a particular moment of pride of us, because we were No. 1 during a once a-century pandemic. We are almost at 80 percent voter turnout. That was the highest voting range in Minnesota since 1956.”
And in Minnesota, with the nation’s highest voter turnout, paper ballots are the basis for the outcome of an election.
Will there be a winner in the competition between paper ballots and machine voting technology? Here’s why paper plays a crucial role, according to Simon:
“With paper you can touch it, and feel it, and see it, and keep it,” he said. “So under federal law here all ballots have to be kept for 22 months, so if someone after the fact says ‘I don’t believe you or I want to challenge this result’ you have something you can touch. I like our system which is, yes, it’s paper that you keep, but you have an electronic component – you have machines that help count those paper ballots, but they’re always subject to a recount if someone doesn’t like the results or has a suspicion.”
Paper plays an important role in other states’ elections, too.
Nationwide, the Brennan Center for Justice – an independent, nonpartisan law and policy organization estimates, that 93 percent of all votes cast during the 2020 election had a paper record, whether filled out by hand or printed by a machine for the voter to review before casting their ballot (based on data from Verified Voting and the Election Assistance Commission’s 2020 Election Administration and Voting Survey).