Maryland Goes Back to Paper Ballots for Primary Election | NBC4 Washington
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Maryland Goes Back to Paper Ballots for Primary Election

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    AUSTIN, TX - FEBRUARY 19: A pollster loads paper in a primary registration machine at the Travis County Courthouse February 19, 2008 in Austin, Texas. Early voting begins today across Texas ahead of the presidential primaries taking place on Tuesday, March 4, 2008. (Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

    Maryland is going back to basics, with an ink pen and paper ballot, for the presidential primary elections.

    State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone says that despite advances in digital technology, nothing safeguards a secret ballot like marking a piece of paper. The ballots are tabulated by an optical scanning machine.

    The system replaces touch-screen terminals that became popular after the hotly disputed 2000 presidential election. You might remember the "hanging chads'' from Florida's punch-card ballots.

    The Maryland General Assembly voted in 2007 to go back to paper ballots due to security concerns with electronic voting.

    Lamone says the system is working well during the early voting period, which began April 14 and continues through Thursday.

    Primary Election Day is April 26.