By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) – New Jersey could go back to using paper ballots for elections. That was one idea being bandied about in an Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing in Trenton addressing security concerns with computerized voting machines.

Advocates of the “back to the future” approach note how easy it is to hack a voting machine, either by tampering with computer chips or a machine’s programming.

And a paper trail, paired with optical scanning equipment, could go a long way to addressing concerns about a voter’s intent when casting a ballot.

State law allows for a return to paper ballots, but Hudson County Elections Clerk Mike Harper cites one problem.

“My county doesn’t have the money to buy new machines at this time,” said Harper. “So we are going to hold on to the DRE machines that we are currently using for as long as possible.”

Estimates are the switch to paper and scanners would cost the state about $36 million.

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