Gov. Lamont says Connecticut will spend $25 million on new voting machines before the presidential election

Gov. Lamont says Connecticut will spend $25 million on new voting machines before the presidential election

Press Mention
Date of Release or Mention: 
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Gov. Ned Lamont said Wednesday that the State Bond Commission will vote next month to spend $25 million on new voting machines that are expected to be in place by the presidential election next year.

The funding will cover "several thousand" traditional tabulators, as well as dozens of high-speed tabulators used to tally absentee ballots, the governor's office estimated. The machines have not been replaced since 2006.

"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," Lamont said in a statement. "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they need to conduct an Election Day that runs smooth and free of any glitches that could potentially be caused by outdated technology."

Lamont's office could not say Wednesday when exactly the machines will be in place, but the governor has previously said he expects them to be ready for the 2024 elections.

This spring, Connecticut's legislature authorized the state to borrow money for new election infrastructure, amid concerns that the existing vote tabulators were increasingly unreliable. Because the governor sets the agenda for the bonding commission, however, the process could not move ahead without Lamont's approval.

Earlier this month, a coalition of advocacy groups including the AARP, the ACLU, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters and former Secretary of the State Denise Merrill wrote an open letter to Lamont urging him to proceed with bonding for election tabulators and upgrades to the state's automatic voter registration system.

"The threat of malfunction became a real crisis during the 2021 primary, when a distressing 50 machines suffered breakdowns and rendered themselves inoperable," the groups wrote. "To efficiently, effectively, and and securely run elections in the 2024 national election, we need reliable tabulators."

Following Wednesday's announcement, Ann Reed, vice president for advocacy at the League of Women Voters, said the group was "thrilled" that the state would be getting new voting machines.

"Old voting machines can sabotage an election, and we want to maintain Connecticut's dominance in pushing voting for everyone and making it safe and secure," she said.

The announcement of new voting machines comes a day after the state legislature approved a measure to move up its presidential primary several weeks, from the last Tuesday of April to the first.

Assuming the bond commission approves the measure at its Oct. 6 meeting, as expected, the Office of the Secretary of the State will issue a request for proposals from possible suppliers of the new machines. 

In a statement Wednesday, Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas said she was glad to see the process move ahead.

League to which this content belongs: