The Cleburne County quorum court passed a binding resolution making them a "paper ballot" county, meaning future elections would be administered with hand marked paper ballots that are hand counted. The vote was in response to Arkansas Voter Integrity Initiative, INC.(AVII) CEO Colonel Conrad Reynolds' push for election computers to be removed from Arkansas elections.
Reynolds stated, "For more than a decade there have been too many unanswered questions with these voting machines, which are essentially computers. The owners of the machine company are intentionally shielded from the public. The machines do not read the names on the ballots, instead they scan barcodes, which humans cannot read. They also utilize proprietary software that we are not allowed to examine. This all means voters cannot verify that their vote is being counted properly as mandated by state law. As a former military intelligence officer, I look at this through a national security perspective and conclude there are big problems with our current voting system."
Arkansas elections are totally controlled by Election Systems and Software (ES&S) out of Omaha, Nebraska. ES&S has been criticized* for their unknown ownership and lack of transparency.
AVII's attorney Clint Lancaster, stated that Arkansas election law 7-5-301 codifies each county's right to choose their voting process, including the use of paper ballots which are hand counted.
Jacque Martin, a Cleburne County Justice of the Peace who voted in favor of moving to paper ballots said, "It's time we take our elections back and return to having elections we can have faith in - with transparency and integrity."
Colonel Reynolds added, "If you're not from Cleburne County and want this, you can do it to. The JPs got a lot of calls from their constituents telling them they supported us moving to paper ballots, so I suggest you do the same in your county."
AVII aims to get the other 74 county quorum courts in Arkansas to vote to return to paper ballots by early 2023.