Requirements for South Carolina’s new voting system

Published: May. 13, 2019 at 10:17 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Officials are taking steps to replace South Carolina’s aging voting system.

Lynn Teague with the League of Women Voters of South Carolina said, “I think everybody in the state understands we need a new system.”

Teague said this is a change they have been waiting to see for years. “The integrity of our democracy depends on voters being able to be confident that their vote was counted the way they intended.”

She said the current system isn’t doing that. Earlier this year, Dr. Duncan Buell with the University of South Carolina said he found multiple instances of votes being miscounted or counted twice during the 2018 midterm elections. The State Election Commission told us they attribute those issues to human error.

Right now, the State Election Commission said the procurement process is ongoing.

The South Carolina Department of Administration and State Fiscal Accountability Authority are overseeing the process. They cannot discuss specifics at this time.

But we do know what some of the requirements for the new system are. The new voting system:

  • Must have a paper record of every vote cast
  • Must be certified by U.S. Election Assistance Commission
  • Must be approved for use by the State Election Commission
  • Must allow voters with disabilities to vote independently without assistance

Teague said paper ballots can be recounted and audited. “70% of the voters in the United States are already using modern systems of hand-marked paper.”

Officials have said the goal is to have a new system in place by January 1, 2020. Lawmakers have set aside $40 million for new voting machines in the budget plan.

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