Tammy Mutasa/Rockwall Journalist
Rockwall County election officials are exploring moving to all-electronic ballots in 2013.
The way people vote in Rockwall County could be changing as the county looks to advance with technology.
Right now, half of the county still uses paper ballots as their preferred method of voting, but the county has assembled a committee to explore the possibility of going all electronic.
"It's about change," said Glenda Denton, of Rockwall County Elections. "Our county is about half paper, half electronic-type balloting, and with technology changes and what's coming in the future, the judge wants to explore that opportunity."
Any possible changes would not go into effect during the current constitutional amendment election or even in 2012. But voters could see all electronic by the 2013 elections.
Longtime voter Dennis Vierling said he enjoys the freedom to choose his type of ballot.
"I've used both the electronic and the paper ballot," he said. "I do prefer the paper ballot, because I'm a creature of habit and I do use it more often."
Rockwall County Democrats said they are not happy with the idea of voters losing the right to choose which ballot to use.
"We don't have a very high percentage of people that turn out to vote," Terri St. Clair said. "We're concerned that if you take away that choice and give them (voters) a less comfortable experience, then we will have even less people participating in the voting process."
Rockwall County Republican Tony Fisk said it would be split down the middle if he polled his party.
"Other counties, other states, other countries have done this," he said. "With that in mind, what I would want to make sure is that the redundancy is in place, both from an audit-trail perspective and from a machine-failure perspective."
Costs haven't been adopted in any budgets yet, but there are some other prices the county has to think about.
"It means the possibility of purchasing more equipment, and it could mean more voter education and longer lines," Denton said.
Both parties said they hope the county will actually listen to what voters want as the process from split-voting to all-electronic develops.