S.C. election officials took a small step Tuesday toward changing the way the state votes in 2020. The S.C. Election Commission requested $60 million Tuesday from legislators to buy a new voting system in time for the next statewide election, a system that — for the first time in a decade — would produce a paper trail of ballots cast. The Election Commission has requested money for new voting machines before and been denied. However, this request comes in a favorable budget year amid national concern around election security. State lawmakers have said they want to make a switch to paper-trail ballots in time for the 2020 election, using money from $1 billion in added state revenues. But there will be hurdles to overcome. Gov. Henry McMaster unveiled his budget proposal Tuesday and included only $5 million for new voting machines.
Marci Andino, director of the Election Commission, told S.C. House budget-writers Tuesday that the commission has requested proposals for a new voting system. It would replace the state’s more than 13,000 touchscreen voting machines, now 14 years old.
“The system’s been used since 2004-05, and it’s reached the end of its life,” she said.