Arkansas County Moves to Ditch Voting Machines for Paper Ballots

Castleski /
Castleski /

As you know, the American voting process has been a topic of great discussion for the last few years, particularly after the 2020 presidential election. And as 2024 approaches, it seems more and more are considering the benefits of paper ballots over voting machines.

In one Arkansas county, the switch is all but a done deal.

On Monday, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Searcy County Quorum Court, the governing body of the county, voted 6-2 on a resolution that would return paper ballots only to the north central county.

According to state law, counties can choose to have either paper or electronic ballots. Whatever is selected, an official ordinance needs to be passed to finalize any changes. So, with the resolution newly passed, all that remains is this final ordinance, which is expected to take place soon and go off without a hitch.

Additionally, state law, Act 350, requires county officials to pay for paper balloting for election, not the state.

However, as Wayne Witcher, a Searcy County Quorum Court member who voted in favor of paper ballots, says, the switch to paper won’t be all that expensive. He added that if it had been, his vote, as well as a few others, may have been a no.

But as the Arkansas Voter Integrity Initiative noted, almost everyone involved in the vote seemed to have done their homework well. While the group had been consulted on the decision prior to the vote, CEO Conrad Reynold says that most “took the ball and ran with it and did their own research.”

So, going in, everyone knew what they were voting for and what was at stake.

It is noted that Searcy is not the only county to consider this move. Cleburne County also voted to do away with voting machines in January. But then, in March, county officials changed their minds.

Several states, such as Georgia and Arizona, have also considered the move.

To be sure, it should not be taken lightly if we are to return integrity to the voting process.