BOSTON (State House News Service) — Will Massachusetts ever move away from using paper ballots for elections? Maybe after Secretary of State William Galvin is gone.
On the heels of embarrassing technical snafus during the Iowa Caucus, Galvin told the News Service that the state will not switch to a high-tech voting system anytime soon. Issues with a smartphone app created to help precincts report the results of the first-in-the-nation primary on Feb. 3 led to delays and confusion.
"I think that technology, while it has many benefits, it has a risk and the risks are obvious in some of the problems. Not just the most recent problem in Iowa but problems other jurisdictions have had," he said at a South Station voter registration event Wednesday afternoon. "Moreover, I think it instills confidence in voters to be able to look at their ballot [and] to put the ballot in the box themselves."
Worse comes to worse, Galvin said, election officials can count ballots by hand. The secretarysat before the House and Senate Ways and Means committees Tuesdayurging lawmakers to include more money in the fiscal 2021 budget to support this fall's presidential contest. Gov. Charlie Baker's budget proposal contained "a number of notable deficiencies" for his office, Galvin said Tuesday.
As for presidential primary day on March 3, Galvin said Wednesday that he is confident his office is doing everything to make sure the day goes well.
"But it's an operation that has literally millions of people doing something they don't do every day, with an army of temporary workers who don't do that every day, and many movable parts," he said. What about election day in November? "Well, I'm hoping it will, but that's a long way away. Let me get through March first. We'll talk about it afterwards."
by Chris Van Buskirk, State House News Service
(Photo: Getty Images)