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Indiana's governor asks for $10 million to improve election security

Indiana's governor asks for $10 million to improve election security. // WSBT 22 Photo

Indiana's governor is asking for $10 million to improve election security.

Most of that would upgrade electronic touch screens with what's called a voter verifiable ballot.

That's essentially a traditional paper ballot in case questions come up later.

The $10 million request made by Governor Holcomb is part of a pilot program. It would initially pay for a few counties to use the new system. The hope is that the voter verifiable ballot would eventually be used by all Indiana counties.

“This is much needed and is a start as we move towards that upgrade that is going to happen over the next several years,” said Chris Anderson, Elkhart county clerk.

In some cases, it could involve a complete new touch screen voting machine or an upgrade to an existing system.

It creates a printed, paper ballot after a voter has made their selections.

“A paper ballot some sort is printed,” said Anderson. “The voter can then examine that to make a determination that ‘Yes, I have voted. These are the selections that I have made, then that is what is tabulated,’ and those are the votes that are then counted.”

If the program catches on and expands, counties could use state funding to pay for the system upgrades, or deal with private vendors to supply the equipment.

He says election officials here have already started effort on their own to obtain the voter verified pater trail system and had been looking at it and working on it the past six months. They have notified county commissioners and county council about their future plans.

“Elkhart County has been discussing the need to upgrade our equipment. We have been looking at the various equipment that is current certified by the state of Indiana and available to us,” said Anderson.

He adds they know of at least two vendors that will soon have that certified equipment and plan to go with the best option.

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