“It’s all about democracy, everyone getting to express their voice whether by paper or electronically,” he said. “But I am here to tell you that as the elections administrator, I am not able to contract with Weatherford College if you choose to use the paper balloting method.”
Parden cited several reasons for the decision, including the lack of a pre-clearance request to the Department of Justice, which is suggested prior to election changes, as well a lack of equipment and staff.
“I see no means of conducting an election without confusion to election workers and to the voters themselves,” he said. “I do not own ballot cans, and our personnel is not trained to handle paper ballots.”
Parden also told the board that the college legally has a right to conduct its own election, but that the estimated cost, including personnel and equipment, would be around $41,000.
Parden also answered specific questions on how the electronic voting machines are tested and password use.
“It’s hard for me to tell you that I can’t conduct this election,” Parden said. “As an elections administrator, I want to conduct elections.”