Touchscreens Increase Annual Election Costs by 40%
Touchscreen Voting Increases Annual Election Costs by 40%
In February of 2005, Dr. Rosemarie Myerson completed a study (http://www.votersunite.org/info/costcomparison.asp) of annual expenditures of the election departments of two Florida counties. The data showed the cost of using touch screen voting machines in Sarasota county was higher than the county’s previous expenditures when using punch cards and higher than the cost of using optical scanners in a neighboring county. This enlightening study revealed that not only are touch screens more expensive to acquire, they are also more expensive to operate year after year.
Dr. Myerson and her husband have now completed a study of all 68 Florida counties, and they found that the data supports Dr. Myerson’s initial findings. In the conclusion, they state, "[The statistical analysis] indicates a 40.4% higher increase in expenses for touchscreen counties than for optical scanner counties."
They say, “One factor that may explain why having touchscreens cost so much more than optical scanners is because the county has to own and maintain so many more machines. ... [W]hile one optical scanner adequately serves a precinct, the precinct needs approximately ten times as many touchscreens in order not to have huge lines of voters waiting to vote."
Read the full report and view the supporting data at http://www.votersunite.org/info/costcomparisonextended.asp.
VotersUnite! is a national non-partisan organization dedicated to fair and accurate elections. It focuses on distributing well-researched information to elections officials, elected officials, the media, and the public; as well as providing activists with information they need to work toward transparent elections in their communities.