Gov. Terry McAuliffe is proposing that the state spend $28 million next year to replace Virginia’s voting machines. The new technology would create a paper trail for each ballot cast, something not all the voting machines used in Virginia do. About 2,100 precincts would get new machines under the plan, and another 400 that have already upgraded would be reimbursed. McAuliffe said Monday it’s necessary to ensure fair, efficient and effective voting, even though next year’s budget is tight. “This goes to the core of who we are as Virginians,” he said. The governor spoke at City Hall. In the November election, voters and candidates here and in Newport News reported difficulties casting accurate votes using touch-screen machines.
U.S. Rep. Scott Rigell was among them. During the election, he reported that votes cast for him were being recorded for his opponent. He still won. At the news conference Monday, he praised McAuliffe for suggesting 100 percent of the new machines’ cost be paid for by the state. “I can think of no better investment,” Rigell said.
McAuliffe also proposed $30,000 per fiscal year in his budget to update the Department of Elections’ website and electronic poll books.
If approved by the General Assembly, the state would go through a procurement process to select the new machines. They would be uniform statewide, which would make it easier to find technicians to repair them in a pinch during elections, McAuliffe said. They’d be in place by August and ready for use in the November election.
Full Article: Virginia Governor Announces New Voting Machines.