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Husted Calls for Replacement of Ohio's Aging Voting Equipment

COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today urged the Kasich Administration and Ohio General Assembly to include, as part of the upcoming capital appropriations bill, funding to cover the full replacement of Ohio’s aging voting machines. The majority of Ohio’s current voting equipment was purchased more than a decade ago using one-time federal funds made available through the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

“It is time for the state’s leaders to step forward and approve a funding plan to replace Ohio’s aging voting technology,” said Secretary of State Jon Husted. “Any plan must ensure that updated voting systems are implemented in advance of the 2019 general election so that elections officials and voters alike are not using new voting equipment for the first time in the 2020 presidential election cycle.”

In a letter sent to Governor John R. Kasich, Ohio Budget Director Timothy S. Keen, and leaders of the four legislative caucuses, Secretary Husted expressed the importance of updating the state’s voting machines in time for the 2020 presidential election.

“The last time Ohio replaced its voting machines the iPhone hadn’t been released, people still rented movies from Blockbuster, and social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat didn’t exist,” Secretary Husted said. “It’s time to make updating our voting equipment a priority.”

The Department of Administrative (DAS) has already started exploring costs associated with the implementation of a new system. Based on that research, estimates for a statewide acquisition of new voting equipment is approximately $118 million.

Since 2011, Secretary Husted has consistently highlighted the need to upgrade voting technology. While Secretary Husted is confident that the current maintenance and operating procedures used by the local boards of elections will provide for a smooth 2018 election cycle, the approval of funding in the upcoming capital bill will ensure continued efficiency in Ohio’s elections for years to come.

The effort to replace voting equipment is the latest in a series of Husted-led initiatives to enhance the integrity of the elections system. This work has included online voter registration, the removal of more than 608,000 deceased Ohioans from the voter rolls, the resolution of more than 1.7 million duplicate voter registrations, and outreach to more than 1.76 million Ohioans who were unregistered – but eligible – to vote.

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