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Legislature’s Electronic Voting System Experiences Problems

House Speaker Brian Bosma has joked about the troubled technology. He asked someone to bring him an abacus earlier this week to help tally votes.

voting system

Photo: Bill Shaw

The legislature's voting system uses a touch screen.

House Speaker Brian Bosma says he’s spent more time on problems with the new House electronic voting system than on any other issue being considered by the General Assembly this session.

The Legislative Services Agency, the General Assembly’s nonpartisan legal and fiscal analysis group, has spent more than a year developing a new, streamlined electronic voting system for the House and Senate that’s tied to a new General Assembly website.

But the system has been beset by problems since session began, including frequent delays on the House floor as lawmakers try to vote.

So far, Bosma has tried to keep the mood light.

“I’ve requested an abacus to be brought forward,” Bosma said at a recent session.

Still, he’s growing frustrated.

“Unfortunately I seem to be spending a lot of time thinking about technology at the moment and the House new technology system,” he says.

LSA Executive Director George Angelone says he shares that frustration and his staff is working overtime to solve the problems.

“For example, this weekend – Saturday, Sunday and Monday – we will have staff in who are testing each one of the subsystems to make sure that we can implement improvements,” Angelone says.

Angelone says he anticipates the problems with the voting system will be solved by the time bills must move from one house to the other, a period in which lawmakers hold dozens of floor votes in rapid succession.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • Grin

    If a ‘vote’ is cast with electronics of unknown design, build,
    programming, and operation, it is not really a vote.

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