There are millions of dollars of taxes collected that are unspent and lawmakers will decide what to do with them. Here’s a plan for the ballot box: to spend $50 million to replace old, outdated voting machines in South Carolina. There are 13,000 voting machines some call antiquated. One state representative goes as far to call them unreliable. But the commission says $50 million may not replace all 13,000 machines, but it could at least make a better backup system – a paper trail of votes. The right to vote is the backbone of democracy. Some feel the system in South Carolina needs adjustment – worth $50 million taxpayer dollars. “Ballots are the currency in which we purchase democracy,” said Rokey Suleman II with Richland County Voter Registration, and Elections. “So, we have to treat that ballot as secure as we do any sort of currency, and we have to treat it like a bank vault and a cash drawer at a store.”
Suleman, who is in charge of elections in Richland County, says he’s pushing for changes like new software, and a paper trail to better audit votes as a back-up in case of malfunction.
“So, it’s important for us to have the highest security possible to make sure that the citizens have faith that their ballots are being cast and counted properly,” Suleman said.
Budget writers in the Statehouse will have to vote on whether to spend the $50 million on a new system. There are 13,000 voting machines in the state.