Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) issued the below statement in response to today’s introduction of Substitute Senate Bill (SB) 135.

“Ohio needs to fund voting machine upgrades in all of our counties to meet the elections cybersecurity challenges we face and to modernize our aging machinery. I am working on language to include in the capital budget bill to fund voting machines that use voter-verified paper ballots. This could include touchscreen or hand-marking systems.

“I have some concerns about Substitute Senate Bill 135 which was introduced today. Our elections in Ohio were attacked, we’ve been warned that they will be attacked again and we need to secure the way Ohioans vote. Sub SB 135 continues the use of electronic ballots while much of the country moves in the direction of secure paper ballots. Moving from a paper trail backup to an actual paper ballot is an essential piece of securing our elections. It’s not enough to say our machines are not connected to the Internet. The Internet is just one point of entry to attack voting and tabulating machines. Local private networks and other means of access and connectivity also put our elections at risk.

“The capital budget is how we make major capital investments in our state. It is typically a bipartisan process where all sides work together. Using a different unknown process for voting machine funding adds uncertainty and could result in further controversial changes to our election laws. This looks like a blatant political maneuver for one party to score points.”

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