State officials from Louisiana and Connecticut on Thursday asked for more money and clear standards from the federal government to help secure voting systems before the 2020 elections. But the officials, Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin and Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill, stressed the differences between their election systems and asked for leeway from the federal government in deciding how to spend any future funding. “The cultures are different and the voters have different expectations,” Ardoin told commissioners from the federal Election Assistance Commission, or EAC, at a public forum. Both states received federal funds to upgrade cyber and physical security of their voting systems after Congress approved $380 million for election security in 2018. They spent their share of those funds differently. Connecticut has put much of its funding toward training, Merrill said, while Louisiana is scrambling to upgrade systems running Windows 7 to Windows 10 before Microsoft stops offering support for the older operating system in January. Ginny Badanes, the director of Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program, which is working to help both states and companies that build voting machines and software to prepare for the switch in operating systems, said the company “will do whatever it takes to make sure these customers have access to updates that are straightforward and affordable.” Both the state officials and private sector witnesses urged the commission to adopt and publish standards that would set the best practices for election security.
Georgia: Group appointed to seek replacing Georgia’s electronic voting machines | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Monday appointed an 18-member group of election officials, state legislators, political party representatives and voting experts to recommend the state’s next election system.
The group, called the Secure, Accessible & Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission, will hold public meetings across Georgia and review options for the state’s voting system, including hand-marked paper ballots and electronic machines with a voter-verified paper trail. Kemp announced earlier this month he was forming the study group to evaluate options to replace the state’s electronic voting machines, which don’t leave an independent paper backup that could be checked for accuracy of election results. He created the group after the Georgia General Assembly failed to pass legislation to move the state to a new voting system.
The S.C. State Election Commission plan to maintain its more than 12,000 voting machines would cost up to $8.8 million. Refreshing the machines would include installing new touch screens, purchasing new batteries, adding new wheels and replacing communication packs. Optical scans that read ballots would also be replaced under the plan. Spartanburg County Registration and Elections Director Henry Laye told area lawmakers on Monday that poll workers have noticed in the past few elections that people have had to punch the screens particularly hard or particularly lightly to get them to work properly.