After discussing the possibility of changing to paper ballots for its upcoming general trustee election, the Weatherford College Board of Trustees decided against the measure at a specially-called meeting Thursday.No motion to change the current electronic method was made so the agenda item died from lack of action.The discussion on whether to change to a paper ballot began at the Feb. 14 meeting after board members learned that fellow trustee Elaine Carter had requested paper ballots on Feb. 11. Carter is up for reelection in May.At that time, Brent Baker, WC Vice President of Institutional Advancement, informed board members that after speaking with Robert Parten, Parker County Elections Administrator, it was going to require additional funds and approval from the Department of Justice to proceed. Approximate cost of the election to the college to change to paper balloting was estimated to be $31, 182, an increase of more than $25,000 from the current estimate of $5,500.In a letter to the Board, Parten said the increased cost was the result of needing additional staff as well as equipment that Parker County no longer owns. He added that the Department of Justice recommended at least 90 days before the date of the election to seek approval to change the method of election. That means the college would’ve had to have the request in no later than Feb. 10.Vice chairman Joel Watson expressed that he “fundamentally disagreed” with some of the issues brought up by Parten’s letter, stating that the college was its own governmental entity and could proceed with holding its own election without certified approval from the Department of Justice. He added that “we need to do all we can do to follow up on this since a candidate asked us to do it.”“This isn’t someone from the outside requesting this change,” Watson said.After some confusion as to what motion was required on the agenda item, trustees called for the general election for Place 1 and Place 2 but added that a follow-up meeting was required to further explore paper balloting.That follow-up meeting was what took place Thursday and Parten was in attendance, as well as several other concerned citizens and employees of Weatherford College.WC registrar Vicki Traweek was one of several who spoke in open forum, stating she took vacation time to be at the meeting.“Without strong evidence [to support why paper ballots must be used], I am opposed to this action,” she said. “It is a waste of taxpayer money and not a wise use of funds.”Dr. Jim Messinger echoed similar sentiments.“This is the most difficult presentation I’ve ever had to make,” he said. “The college can’t afford refreshments at Faculty Senate meetings...clearly, I don’t understand your priorities.”When two others also spoke about feeling the same way, Carter then addressed everyone in the room.“It was not my intention to create an additional financial burden to the college,” she said. “With prior knowledge of electronic ballot failures, I wanted to explore all possibilities to insure everyone’s vote was counted.”Parten was then asked by board chairman Frank Martin to make a statement and then field questions from trustees.In his remarks, Parten said that “after careful consideration,” the Parker County Elections Office would not be able to partner with the college should they decide to go with paper ballots.“It’s not that I don’t want to, I just don’t think we can properly do it,” he said.After Parten was asked to explain the testing procedures and how the electronic voting machines were routinely checked for accuracy and security, among other questions, trustees went into closed session to discuss the issue with the college’s attorney.When open session resumed, no motion was made to change the method of election, effectively closing the issue and executing the current contract amount of $5,500 for electronic voting only.