Today, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe proposed a one-time investment of $28 million to change and upgrade voting machines, electronic poll books, and the state elections website.
— VA Dept of Elections (@vaELECT) December 15, 2014
In his proposal the state would cover the cost of purchasing new voting machines for 2,166 precincts across Virginia and would reimburse the 401 precincts that have already purchased the approved type of machine. If the proposal is approved, new machines would be rolled out by August 1st 2015, in time for the state’s General Assembly elections. All 140 seats in the legislature are up for election in November 2015.
Governor McAuliffe noted that 49 Virginia localities reported problems with voting equipment on November 4 and that some of the equipment in use currently have no paper trail. In Virginia Beach, 32 of 820 touch-screen machines were taken out of service on Election Day due to calibration issues.
The proposal will include $30,000 per budget year to update the Department of Elections’ website, which crashed on Election Night and $1.7 million to update electronic pollbooks.
“Participating in our democracy is one of the most important rights we have as citizens of this commonwealth and country,” said McAuliffe.