Bill Would Help Ohio Counties Replace Aging Voting Machines

Mar 2, 2018

Republican state lawmakers say they have a plan to give Ohio’s 88 counties millions of dollars to replace thousands of voting machines that were bought more than a decade ago. The new machines could be ready in time for the 2020 presidential election.

More than $114 million has been set aside for new voting machines. Sen. Frank LaRose, a Republican from Hudson and a candidate for Secretary of State, said each county will get at least $205,000, with the counties with the most voters each getting $406,000.

“The remaining dollars would be allocated on a per-registered voter basis. So, using round numbers, if your county has 10 percent of Ohio’s registered voters, you would receive 10 percent of the funding,” LaRose said.

Counties backed this plan, but had wanted $175 million. LaRose said this should cover most of the cost of optical scan machines that use paper ballots, but electronic machines could still be bought. 

Rep. Kathleen Clyde of Kent, LaRose’s Democratic opponent, said the money should come from the capital budget instead.