COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has notified county boards of elections they may begin the process of acquiring new voting equipment through the Voting Equipment Acquisition Program. The program was made possible through legislation enacted earlier this year, and a total of $104.5 million in funding will be available to purchase new equipment for counties.
“Ohio’s voters will soon say goodbye to aging voting equipment that pre-dates the first generation iPhone,” Secretary Husted said. “Taking action now allows the voting machines to be put in place next year so poll workers can be trained and the equipment can be tested well ahead of the 2020 presidential election.”
The Ohio Department of Administrative Services (DAS) has awarded contracts to five voting system vendors – Clear Ballot Group, Dominion Voting Systems, Election Systems & Software, Hart InterCivic, and Unisyn Voting Solutions. County boards of elections eligible to participate in the program will select their system, equipment, and services from the approved vendor’s list. The Secretary of State’s Office has encouraged county boards to work closely with their county commissioners in choosing a voting system.
Amended Substitute Senate Bill 135 provided $104.5 million in state funding for new voting equipment. The funding will be released in phases, beginning with approximately $72 million available to counties who plan to replace their voting systems prior to the 2019 Primary Election. In addition to the $104.5 million in replacement funds, $10 million in reimbursement funding will be available to counties who have replaced their voting systems since January 1, 2014.
“Elections are a partnership between state and local governments," Secretary Husted said. "We have run smooth elections in Ohio over the past eight years, and this will provide the foundation to ensure Ohio can do so well into the future.”
All voting equipment used in Ohio must meet federal certification standards set forth by the United States Election Assistance Commission, as well as state certification standards through the Ohio Board of Voting Machine Examiners.
Advisory to County Boards of Election – Voting Equipment Acquisition Program