Senate Passes LaRose Bill Aimed at Updating Ohio’s Voting Machines

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COLUMBUS — The Senate passed legislation today, sponsored by State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson), which provides funding to assist counties in upgrading their outdated voting equipment.

“Ohio is one step closer to securing the funding needed to assist counties in replacing their outdated voting equipment,” said LaRose. “Today’s overwhelming bipartisan support indicates that we in the legislature understand the importance of this bill and I encourage the House to act swiftly. Now is the time for action in order to maintain the infrastructure of our democratic process.”

Counties will be given a fixed amount based on the number of registered voters to help with the startup costs that are associated with buying new machines. The remaining funds are then distributed proportionally based on the percentage of registered voters each county has.

Each county will be given a fixed amount of money based on the counties size to help with initial startup cost. The remaining funds will then be allocated on a per registered voter basis.

Of the $114.5 million allocated for Ohio’s next generation of voting machines, $10 million will be general revenue funding for reimbursement of counties which have already purchased new machines. The remaining funds will then be used to help counties who will be purchasing machines in the near future.

“It is vital that Ohioans can be confident they are casting a vote on a secure and reliable machine,” LaRose added. “We can help ensure the integrity of our elections for years to come by being proactive and replacing outdated voting equipment before major technical issues arise.”

Senate Bill 135 requires the establishment of a bipartisan advisory committee tasked with providing input throughout the process. Steps will be made throughout the entire process to ensure transparency.

Senator LaRose’s proposal is the product of months of collaboration between various government agencies, including the Office of the Secretary of State, as well as the Ohio County Commissioner’s Association and Ohio Association of Elections Officials. The Secretary of State and Department of Administrative Services are the agencies accountable for negotiating costs and administering the entire procurement process for these new machines.

Senate Bill 135 will now move to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

From a press release originally posted on OhioSenate.gov/LaRose

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