In Tuesday’s Indiana primary, some polling places ran out of paper ballots. Officials say that likely won’t be a problem in Kentucky, since only eight of the state’s 120 counties will use them.
Seven of those eight counties are using paper ballots for the first time, only Jefferson County has used them in previous election cycles.
Secretary of State spokesperson Les Fugate says clerks in those seven counties made the switch in response to voter concerns about the need for a ballot paper trail.
Fugate says the state hasn’t had any major problems with the electronic machines, also known as DREs.
“Generally we don’t have a lot of concerns. We think that the electronic voting machines are very reliable,” says Fugate. “The difficulty is that some citizens are starting to question them and even if the DREs are very reliable, if citizens don’t trust them there’s a confidence issue in elections.”
The new paper ballot systems were paid for with federal funds. Among the seven counties abandoning electronic voting are Hardin and Daviess counties.
Kentucky’s primary is May 20th.