HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut State Bond Commission is expected to approve $25 million to buy new voting machines, Gov. Ned Lamont announced on Wednesday.
“The machines we use to record votes are the backbone of our election system, and it is essential that we provide election officials with the equipment they need to tabulate results with accuracy and timeliness,” Lamont said in a written announcement. “Although our existing machines continue to function, they are more than 17 years old and election officials tell us that they are starting to show their age. Implementing a statewide replacement of all these machines now will ensure that election workers continue to have the tools they need to conduct an Election Day that runs smooth and free of any glitches that could potentially be caused by outdated technology.”
The existing machines were first used in 2006. The state has not yet started soliciting proposals from companies to get the equipment. An estimated date for all the machines to be replaced has not yet been set.
Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-District 21) released a statement about the upcoming decision, calling it “Interesting timing” as he referenced an ongoing investigation into potential election misconduct in Bridgeport.
“Less than 24 hours after majority Democrats declined to act on a variety of Republican proposals to instill trust, faith and confidence among voters in the electoral system, we see a push for more reliable voting machines,” he wrote in part. “Undeniably, the shocking video out of Bridgeport dealt a crushing blow to voters’ trust, faith and confidence. In special session, a united Republican Party stood up for the one-person, one-vote Constitutional right. We did so because the Bridgeport video showed us exactly what we were fearful of: potential ballot abuse and harvesting.”
Kelly, while referencing video alleging that a Bridgeport city employee placed absentee ballots in a drop-off box, said that Democrats didn’t vote on the Republican proposals because “the current system works for them.”
The Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission has launched an investigation into the Bridgeport election.