House rejects money for new voting machines

Jan 25, 2017

Secretary of State Al Jaeger.
Credit Courtesy ND Secretary of State

The state House has rejected a measure to buy new voting machines.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger had asked for a $9 million appropriation to replace the current machines – which he says were already obsolete when the state bought them back in 2003. Money to buy them came from the “Help America Vote Act” – but Jaeger says that federal money was a one-time appropriation.

"At this time, we just felt we could go another biennium with the current machines," said Rep. Roscoe Streyle (R-Minot). "We don't dispute that this probably would be a good investment. But like a lot of things this session, we're going to have to prioritize."

The measure failed on a 78 to 12 vote. A companion measure – which would have spent $3 million for electronic poll books – failed 72 to 17.