HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas says hundreds of voting machines need to be replaced in the state because they are unstable and unreliable. 

“Think about technology 17 years ago. That’s what we have now, and what can be done currently is just so much better,” Thomas said. 

The Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut said the company that made the current machines is no longer in business.  

“You can’t get parts for the machines. And while they’re running, they’re just not running efficiently anymore. They’re running effectively but not efficiently,” said Christopher Prue, president of the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut.

The machines are so inefficient that ballots had to be counted by hand during the primary elections last August because some voting machines had meltdowns.  

“The machine parts got so hot and overheated that they melted,” Thomas said. 

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Thomas is requesting $25 Million in bonding funds to purchase 3,000 new tabulators. 

The modern, high-speed technology would serve 750 polling locations across Connecticut’s 169 towns, many requiring more than one tabulator because of the volume of voters.  

“Stamford did 30,000 absentee ballots during the pandemic, and they had to scan those one by one. So, in the new high-speed machines, you can group hundreds together, and it just scans them very quickly,” Thomas said.  

Leaders say, as far as security goes, there should be no concern. Connecticut has a paper backup system and can continue the election without the tabulator in the polling place. 

“Instead of seeing results at midnight, one, two o’clock in the morning from the larger municipalities, you may be able to get results more accurately and faster at that point,” said Tim Decarlo, legislative chair for Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut. 

Thomas hopes to have the new tabulators in time for the 2024 November elections.