Montana Secretary of State Corey Stapleton plans to replace the state’s voter registration system and pay for improvements to its election cyber security programs with a $3 million federal grant. The money is part of $380 million in grants President Donald Trump budgeted for election security across the nation against a backdrop of threats from Russia and others. Montana is putting up $150,000 as a 5 percent match for the grant. Stapleton outlined the plan in a letter to members of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a group that administers the grants, sent out Wednesday. The state received the money, but the program required Stapleton provide details on how it would be spent.
The plan doles out $2.15 million to replacing the state’s voter registration system, which Stapleton said is aging and nearing functional end-of-life on key components. The total includes a “potential upgrade” of the current system and ensures it would be compatible with underlying IT infrastructure.
He said the state is evaluating its election management systems.
Stapleton told the Chronicle the estimate was based off a new voter registration system Idaho recently bought for about $2.1 million.