Galonski: Bill to modernize Ohio voting equipment passes House
State Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron) today applauded the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 135, which would invest more than $100 million in state funds for Ohio counties to purchase new, modern voting equipment. SB 135 also appropriates $10 million to reimburse counties who purchased new voting systems on or after January 1, 2014. Voting systems, including voting machines, marking devices, automatic tabulating equipment, direct recording electronic voting machines and associated allowable expenditures, would be covered under the bill.
“A strong democracy begins with fair elections. Modernizing our voting equipment allows for voting to be safer and more efficient. SB 135 is an essential step to maintain the integrity of our elections,” Rep. Galonski said.
In the wake of reports that Ohio was among 21 states whose election infrastructure was targeted by Russian hackers during the 2016 election, Democrats moved to proactively bolster the state’s voting infrastructure cybersecurity. State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) offered an amendment on the floor that would require funds for new voting systems to be used on paper ballot systems and would require risk-limiting audits of election results to be performed. The amendment was tabled on a largely party line vote.
SB 135 comes after House Democrats pushed for new voting equipment during the state’s Capital Budget process earlier this year, but Republican lawmakers rebuffed their attempts.
After passing the House, SB 135 moves to the Senate for concurrence. If changes are accepted, the bill will go to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.