HomeArkansas newsRestore Election Integrity Arkansas proposes switch to paper ballots

Restore Election Integrity Arkansas proposes switch to paper ballots

Arkansas – Restore Election Integrity Arkansas, a ballot committee, has proposed a state constitutional amendment to fundamentally change the voting process. The amendment aims to replace all voting machines with paper ballots, a move that has sparked a debate on election security and transparency.

Conrad Reynolds, the chief of Restore Election Integrity Arkansas, argues that the current reliance on electronic voting machines undermines voter confidence. He contends that computers can be hacked and are, therefore, not entirely reliable. “I want to make sure that everybody can have faith in our election and right now most people don’t,” said Reynolds. He believes this lack of faith stems partly from the fact that voting machines read barcodes rather than the names on ballots, which could potentially lead to errors or manipulation.

This proposal comes amid increasing scrutiny of voting systems nationwide, with concerns about security and accuracy taking center stage. In contrast to Reynolds’ skepticism, Arkansas Secretary of State John Thurston has expressed confidence in the state’s modern voting machines and tabulators, describing them as “accurate and secure.”

Interestingly, Searcy County stands out as the only county in Arkansas that will count votes by hand and use paper ballots in the primary election. Earlier this year, Cleburne County’s Quorum Court initially voted in favor of paper ballots, becoming the first county to do so. However, they later reversed this decision, highlighting the complexities surrounding the transition to paper ballots.

Reynolds emphasizes that the move to paper ballots is not a partisan issue but rather “an American issue.” He believes that greater transparency in the voting process, where every individual can be assured their vote is counted, benefits not one party but the American people as a whole.

The proposed amendment is currently under review by Attorney General Tim Griffin, who has until November 27 to approve or reject it. If the proposal is approved, Restore Election Integrity Arkansas will need to gather nearly 92,000 signatures from voters across 50 counties by July 5. This effort is necessary for the proposal to qualify for the 2024 general election ballot. The group’s efforts reflect a growing trend towards ensuring electoral integrity and public trust in the democratic process.

Olivia Martinez

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