NewsPublic Affairs / February 28, 2020

House Republicans Reject More Money For Voting Machine Needs

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis) says the current Republican plan to wait 10 years to fully upgrade the state's voting machines is a mistake. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis) says the current Republican plan to wait 10 years to fully upgrade the state's voting machines is a mistake.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

House Republicans this week voted down Democrats’ attempts to help ensure Indiana’s voting machines are more secure in the 2020 election.

More than half of Indiana’s 92 counties have voting machines without a paper backup. Election security experts say those backups are critical to electoral integrity.

The General Assembly budgeted $10 million last year to help upgrade. But that amount only covers about 10 percent of the machines that need it. And they plan to get to the rest of them by 2030.

READ MORE: Lawson Says Lawmakers Wouldn't Provide Election Security Money She Asked For

House Democrats offered an amendment to force the Holcomb administration to find another $10 million to upgrade voting machines right away. House Republicans – like Rep. Tim Wesco (R-Osceola) – said no.

“Frankly, $10 million’s not enough. It will take more than that over the course of the next nine years," Wesco says. "We just need to stick with the plan that we adopted last year with the $10 million that was appropriated and look to the needs that we need in future budget years.”

Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis) says waiting 10 years to fully upgrade the machines is a mistake.

“Providing secure elections based on the best available technology that we know exists, that we know the Secretary [of State] could utilize in an efficient way before November elections is the right thing for us to do,” Hamilton says.

There is an ongoing federal lawsuit trying to force some counties to add paper trails to their voting machines.

Contact Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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