Advocacy Group Urges Absentee Ballots in Merced

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(Merced, CA)
Tuesday, November 1, 2005

Critics of paperless machines say citizens could lose their votes in case of a malfunction, so they recommend voters in Merced and the eight other counties cast absentee ballots. 
Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation says the type of electronic machines being used in Merced have had some problems in Florida.

"Although we have not had a high number of problems with them here in California there have been there have been a lot of problems with them in the counties in Florida that have been using them."

Merced County Registrar Stephen Jones says he doesn't anticipate any problems with the touchscreen machines at the county's 67 precincts, but is encouraging anyone who wants an absentee ballot to stop by the clerk's office right up to and including Election Day.

"They'll be counted until the polls close at eight o'clock."

Jones say so far 20-thousand of the 90-thousand register voters in the county have requested an absentee ballot.
Starting next June, all electronic voting machines in California must produce paper a paper ballot.