Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said he’s hoping the federal government comes forward with money to update Ohio’s voting machines but admits, “I don’t hold my breath in thinking that they are going to.” Husted said the Ohio legislature is looking at ways to share costs to update voting machines that date to the mid-2000s. A split of 80 percent cost for the state and 20 percent for the local governments is being considered for replacement of machines that the Ohio Association of Elections Officials has said could cost an estimated $200 million. Ohio and other states replaced their old punch card voting systems with electronic touch screen and optical scan machines in the wake of the “hanging chad” debacle in Florida during the deadlocked 2000 presidential election and additional problems in 2004, including long lines in Ohio. The federal Help America Vote Act in 2002 for the first time provided funding to help states buy voting equipment.
Husted said cybersecurity is critical for the state’s voting and election systems and that he meets regularly with officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the issue.
Last year, Russian hackers attempted t0 access to the election systems — including online voter registration data — in about 39 states, but Husted has said there is no sign that Ohio was one of them. Voting equipment used to cast ballots and tally the results are believed to have remain untouched by hackers as U.S. law forbids them from being connected to the internet.
Full Article: Jon Husted: Replacing voting machines will be costly.