Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut State Bond Commission will vote at its upcoming meeting to approve an allocation of $25 million that will be used to purchase new ballot-counting tabulators for use in elections and primaries statewide. The equipment will replace Connecticut’s existing voting machines, which are used at every polling place in the state to tabulate the choices that voters make on their paper ballots.
The governor, who serves as chair of the commission and sets its meeting agendas, said that he is recommending the members to approve the funding because the existing machines, which were first put into use in 2006, are beginning to show signs of aging and should be replaced for the continued functioning of accurate and timely election results. The allocation is being placed on the agenda for approval at the commission’s October 6, 2023, meeting.
“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,” Governor Lamont said. “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they need to conduct an Election Day that runs smooth and free of any glitches that could potentially be caused by outdated technology.”
Following the commission’s approval of the funding, it is anticipated that the Office of the Secretary of the State will solicit proposals from manufacturers to supply the state with the equipment. Once purchased, the state will provide the equipment to every municipality and the existing equipment will be retired. The state is funding the entirety of the cost to purchase the equipment. It is estimated that the allocation will enable the state to purchase several thousand traditional tabulators and dozens of high-speed tabulators used to tally absentee ballots.
This will be the first time the state is implementing a statewide replacement of all its voting machines since it eliminated the use of lever machines 17 years ago and made a switch to machines that read paper ballots as part of a nationwide requirement enacted by Congress in 2002 for states to have voting systems that keep a paper record of every vote cast in case an election is audited or recounted. Because lever voting machines cannot produce a paper ballot, they were retired from use.
The October 6, 2023, meeting of the State Bond Commission will be held at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. Additionally, video of the meeting will stream live online at ct-n.com.