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Sunnyside preserves traditional paper ballots and boxes

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By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate reporter

By the narrowest of margins, all three Sunnyside city council incumbents have been re-elected to another term at city hall. Kelly Maynes, Shari Madrid and Froylan Garcia all maintained their positions following Tuesday's election with Garcia winning his seat over challenger Tyler Grundy by a single vote.

The election's 51 total votes, which were cast on paper ballots at Sunnyside City Hall, were hand counted by local officials Tuesday night, allowing for a swift reporting of initial results.

Sunnyside city officials elected to have their city council seats voted on at their own city hall rather than use electronic county equipment at a polling location in East Carbon.

"This whole experience is something new for me," said Grundy in reaction to the election's results Wednesday morning. "I was surprised by the closeness of the race."

Grundy, 29, one of the field's younger candidates, also stated that he was satisfied with the race's results and would not ask for a recount despite the tight finish.

Sunnyside's results were provided to the Sun Advocate Tuesday night by City Recorder Polly Sanderson, who reported the balloting as follows:

*Kelly Maynes - 41 votes

*Shari Madrid - 35 votes

*Froylan Garcia - 33 votes

*Tyler Grundy - 32 votes

*Jennifer Carter - 12 votes

As far as Sunnyside's use of paper ballots goes, the history of America's ongoing conversion from paper to electronic elections has been lengthy to say the least, with many bumps along the road. Going back as far as 1975, issues with the integrity of America's voting system resulted in congress creating a Federal Election Commission tasked with developing national guidelines concerning the administration of a computer based vote-tallying system. However, due to a lack of appropriate skills at the state and local level in the mid-70s such a system was put on hold. Moving forward, both a 1984 report by the commission and issues with the 2000 Presidential race brought forward the creation of voluntary national standards for computer based voting systems.

In October of last year, the verified voter program produced a statistical summary of voting technology across the nation. According to the verified voter report, while national standards have been available for more than a decade, only Utah and Nevada have the capacity for 100 percent electronic voting and auditing across the entire state. In 2010, paper ballots were still used exclusively in

18 of the 50 states.

For residents of Sunnyside, voting in their own city and having their own officials count the votes was more important than the statistical accuracy of electronic voting.

"We are an individual city and we wanted to vote in our own city building," said Sunnyside Mayor Doug Parsons, during Tuesday's election.

According to Parsons, the council discussed the issue before this year's primary and decided found that local residents very much approved of the idea of returning city voting to their own community.

Sanderson reported that area's residents have been voting in East Carbon for at least the past six to eight years, as the municipality's former building was simply too small to house area voting, and the county preferred that East Carbon and Sunnyside poll at the same location.

"We found that our residents would much rather stay in their own city to vote," explained Sanderson. "So we informed the county that we would conduct our own election and contacted Carr Printing in order to receive our paper ballots."




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