Minnesota will spend $7 million on new voting equipment in 2018, but the state’s elections chief says cities and counties need a lot more help. Secretary of State Steve Simon announced the $7 million in grant funding for new election equipment that was the result of bipartisan legislation approved in 2017. The grants cover half the cost of mandatory equipment, like ballot counters, and 75 percent of the cost of electronic voter rosters.
“This is an important step for election integrity by ensuring that voting equipment is up to the standards Minnesotans expect,” Simon said in a statement. “However, local governments requested nearly double the amount of available funds. It is clear that replacing our state’s aging election equipment is an ongoing need.”
Simon’s office received requests for grant funding from 85 Minnesota counties and 17 municipalities. Of those requests, 59 were for $5.1 million for electronic voter rosters and 97 were for $8.2 million for mandatory equipment.