Do you think the commission's choice to use DRE voting machines was the right choice for Hays County voters?

The Hays County Election Commission accepted a controversial recommendation from a citizen committee regarding the purchase of new voting equipment. At a public meeting Wednesday, the commission voted 4-1 to approve the election equipment advisory committee’s recommendation to purchase direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting equipment from Hart InterCivic and for Election Administrator Jennifer Anderson to make the recommendation to the county commissioners, who ultimately will decide on any voting equipment purchase.

The decision goes against a growing call from Hays County voters to provide paper trails at the polls.

Advocates for the paper ballot system say it increases voter confidence, which has been an issue in Hays County since the November general election where 1,800 votes went missing.

Those who support the commission's decision to go with DRE voting machines say it will open up the possibility for Hays County to implement voting centers in the future. Voting centers would allow voters from any precinct to vote at any polling location in the county on election day, theoretically making it easier for residents to vote. According to state law, voting centers have to use DRE systems. There has been no serious discussion of moving to voting centers in Hays County, though the idea influenced the conversation about voting equipment.

No, DRE voting systems do not provide a paper trail for accountability.
82% (152 votes)
Yes, DRE voting machines will make voting centers possible and record votes accurately.
18% (33 votes)
Total votes: 185


A paper trail is the only safe, legal and transparent way to go. Machines can be rigged but a paper trail can be followed.

I am a Computer Scientist and there are thousands of ways to modify programs in voting machines to affect the truthful outcome of paperless elections. The only honest election has a paper audit trail in the form or real physical paper ballots that were created by the voter and delivered by their physical hand to the ballot box. This eliminates problems like 1800 lost ballots and 1000 people signing in to vote and 1200 ballots being counted. The other control mechanism is an individualized ballot serial number which is available to the voter for their later verification and used in the audit process. WE MUST HAVE PAPER BALLOTS TO INSURE A FAIR AND HONEST ELECTION!!!!!!

Given the pathetic turnout in local elections, it is even more important that the votes that are received are counted. The 1800 votes in the last November election were seemingly shrugged off and, without public awareness, nothing would change. The County Government would be pleased if they could just do whatever they want without any public input or elections. I personally think they are all scoundrels and we absolutely need a paper record to challenge 'their' results.

Accountability is necessary.

There has to be a way to insure voting integrity and a paper trail for all legal votes cast in any elections from local to Federal. This is necessary in the event of "lost " votes, recounts, and to restore trust in the Hays County voting process. Furthermore, any and all election polling and voting must pass all statutes as spelled out by the state and the Texas Constitution.

A paper ballot audit trail is a key to election integrity. It's a device-independent record that endures from the time it is cast.

While even paper systems can be "hacked", it's infinitely more difficult to change large numbers of votes without leaving a trace.

Best practices suggest a 3-10% post-election audit of results in each precinct, validating the electronic tally.

My husband and I have been mailing in our votes for a couple of years. This last presidential vote my ballot was returned in my mailbox. I took it to the Dripping Springs post office and was told the bar on the exterior envelope was wrong and was redirecting the votes mailed in. It was taken and I was told it would now go to the county clerk to be tabulated. I don't know if in fact it was.....or thrown away! No record of it.

Why the rush? At the Tuesday meeting, the Court said they would give it more consideration. A called meeting the next day? I find that odd.

We need a paper trail of votes.

No, DRE voting systems do not provide a paper trail for accountability.

We need to have a paper trail to ensure that eve vote counts!

I am for anything that will assure my vote is counted in every election, as well as that of every other legal voter in Hays County.

I vote for a paper ballot and a follow-up post-election audit of a few percent of the votes.

This procedure is consistent with industry standards for quality control. Shouldn't our vote be as reliable and certifiable as products coming down an assembly line?

This article is missing pertinent information. Namely that DRE voting machines can be modified to allow for paper receipts (a "trail") if allowed by our Texas legislature in the future. The problem across the state and specifically in Hays County is the confusion at polling locations on voting day and the voter disenfranchisement this causes. Voting Centers are grossly needed in this county so that people who voted at their neighborhood elementary school last election aren't turned away because this election has their polling location at the Baptist church. The responsibility for this issue needs to be placed not on this citizen advisory board, which did its best with the tools it was given, but where it belongs: with our esteemed State Legislators. Only they have the power to advise the Secretary of State to allow voting machines which provide paper audits in Voting Centers. There is no good reason not to.

Considering 1816 votes weren't counted due to a "misplaced memory card" and new evidence suggests that there was THOUSANDS more in addition to that, it is imperative to have a paper trail audit. Voting centers go against the Republican platform so why is Conley using that as an excuse? Every person that spoke out about this has been alienated by these commissioners and the judge, and people have been kicked out of the building and threatened with arrest. There is something VERY wrong here. We need transparency and accountability! These people need to be put on notice that their jobs are on the line. They need to make Conley and Anderson resign immediately. Restored faith in our county and elections needs to be a #1 priority.

I cannot believe the county is going to spend money on new machines that do not comply with state law on: a serial number on every ballot, retaining a ballot image, and creating a paper backup trail that can be audited. I'M PISSED OFF at this constant effort to ram these corruptible, unreliable electronic systems down our throats. Didn't you read where Denton County just voted to go back to an all paper system due to all the hassles they had? What is your problem Commissioners ?? It should not be this hard to find an electronic system that is foolproof and tamper proof and at the very least complies with state law!

Been watching this closely. Just a few observations: 1) Paper ballot trail is a must 2) Voting centers may seem convenient but they're problematic for many reasons to those who have a clue about voting integrity, they're a bad idea. 3) Will Conley exhibits sociopathic behavior, is a documented liar, and a sleazeball who is a career politician. If more people watched that little rat closely, there's no way he'd be re-elected.

Most folks in Hays County commute and don't follow what's going on -- makes it easy for people like Conley, Whisenant and other leeches to move in and make deals at our expense.

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