COLUMBUS—State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) today introduced legislation that would provide funding to counties for the replacement of voting equipment which is reaching the end of its useful life.

The current equipment, throughout the State of Ohio was last purchased in 2005 or 2006 and is becoming obsolete. Although widespread failure is not occurring, minor glitches are becoming more common with each election and the long term viability of the system has the potential to be compromised. This antiquated equipment is becoming costly to maintain while replacement parts are increasingly hard to find.

"This equipment comprises the essential infrastructure of our democratic process," said Senator LaRose. "It is a shared responsibility of state and local governments to ensure that it is properly maintained."

The legislation is modeled on the approach, authored by Senator LaRose in House Bill 64 of the last General Assembly, for the procurement of electronic poll books. The bill contains an appropriation of capital dollars for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services to purchase new voting equipment and to reimburse counties which have recently purchased new equipment. The bill calls for the state to provide 80 percent of the equipment cost, while counties would fund the remaining 20 percent.

Obtaining funding to replace aging voting equipment is a top priority for the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the Ohio Association of Election Officials. Senator LaRose worked closely with both of these organizations to come up with this solution. The bipartisan Commission on Election Administration prioritized updating to modern voting equipment as first-generation voting machines grow obsolete.

 
 
 
  
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