Jaeger hopes to restore funding for voting machines, electronic poll books

Mar 2, 2017

Secretary of State Al Jaeger.
Credit Secretary of State's office

Secretary of State Al Jaeger is hoping the state Senate will restore funding for new voting machines and new electronic poll books.

Jaeger proposed a $6 million expenditure to replace the voting machines, as well as another $4 million to have electronic poll books in all the counties. But the House nixed both items.

Jaeger said the current voting machines were purchased in 2004 as part of the federal Help America Vote Act. He said the counties have had to cannibalize existing machines for parts to keep some of the machines running.

"We've been lucky," Jeager said in an interview. "The counties have been very resilient in terms of trying to make everything work. But some of the software is no longer supported."

And Jaeger said having all counties go to electronic poll books will make voter identification easier.

"You only have a handful of counties that have electronic poll books," Jaeger said. "It would really make the process of voter identification work much easier if we had those electronic poll books in all 53 counties."

The Senate Appropriations Comittee is now lookng at the Secretary of State's budget.