SF 2347 Bill SigningIowa Governor Chet Culver signed Senate File 2347 into law today. The bill, which costs $4.6 million, will ensure a verified paper trail for every vote cast in the November 2008 election.  The bill was managed in House by State Representative Dennis Cohoon, D-Burlington.

The scoop from Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson:

“Paper trail” should be in place by November
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, 3:27 PM
By O.Kay Henderson

It now appears there will be a “paper trail” for every vote that Iowans cast in this fall’s election. Governor Culver has signed legislation which gives counties money to replace touchscreen voting machines with optical scan machines. The optical scan machines preserve a paper record in case a recount is needed.

Marion County Auditor Jake Grandia will be replacing the touchscreen machines that have been used in the Pella and Knoxville areas. “But now it’s a different process…for recounts,” he says. “…It will be a paper ballot that can be hand-recounted. My (old) equipment can not be hand recounted at present.”

The bill Culver signed today appropriates nearly $5 million for buying the new voting machines. Counties will have to match the state grants. The new machines will not be in use statewide before the June primary, but counties are to have them in hand by November.

Culver says the move helps ensure Iowans will have “complete confidence” in the voting process.