Delaware lawmakers on Monday approved a $13 million contract for Election Systems & Software to supply roughly 1,500 of its new ExpressVote XL voting machines, the state’s first new voting system in decades. But some watchdogs are questioning whether state officials chose the best equipment when they chose to purchase a new and largely unproven voting system. “They had it in their minds to choose this system regardless of the facts about it,” said Jennifer Hill, director of Common Cause Delaware. “This system is brand new so we don’t know what to expect.” Those claims did not dissuade lawmakers Monday from approving a $13 million contract to buy a fleet of new voting machines, along with new systems for registering voters, checking them in at their polling places and counting absentee ballots.
All of the new equipment will be supplied by Election Systems & Software, including roughly 1,500 of the Nebraska-based company’s new ExpressVote XL machines.
State officials say those systems will provide the first, verifiable paper trail of Delaware voters’ ballots in decades and allow for a full audit of election results – something not possible under the current system.
Starting with municipal and school board elections in 2019, voters will receive a blank paper ballot that they will load into one of the new voting machines.