Paper or Computer? City of Hampton lets voters choose how to cast their ballots

Electronic voting machines first came onto the national scene during the 2002 elections, to make sure the country wouldn’t have to sit through another Florida recount nightmare.

Now, 10 years later, voters here in Virginia still don’t trust those computers.

“Machines, they can act up just like anything else, anything manmade can act up,” said McCoy Sykes, a Hampton voter.

“I don’t know, might be rigged, never can tell,” said Paul Clark, another Hampton voter.

So that’s why the City of Hampton is letting people choose between voting on these computers, and voting on a paper ballot–the only jurisdiction to do so, whether voting early, or on Election Day.

“That’s good, because on paper, I know what I’m putting down there. If I do the computer, I’m not sure it’s doing what I say it’s doing,” said Clark.

“I figure if it’s man-made, there could be a flaw there, and that’s why I chose the old-timer paper ballot,” said Sykes.

Still, it’s not just the older generations that refuse to use the newer technology.

“You do want to see exactly where your votes are going, and using a paper ballot, you actually circle the candidate you want to be in office,” said Stacey Gordon, a Hampton voter.

The way voters cast their ballots will actually vary from city to city.

Newport News, Portsmouth and Chesapeake will all use paper ballots, with optical scanners to count votes.

Norfolk, Suffolk and Virginia Beach will use electronic voting machines at the polls.

No matter paper or computer, the last day to vote in-person absentee is this Saturday, November 3rd.

Times and locations change from city to city, so check with your local registrar’s office to get full information.

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