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Indiana to finally provide counties money to add paper backups to all electronic voting machines

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Politics
In March, Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan demonstrates how "voter verifiable paper audit trails" work with electronic voting machines. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana counties that use electronic voting machines are finally getting enough money from the state to equip all those machines with paper backup systems.

A new state law, HEA 1116, requires counties that use electronic voting machines to, by 2024, install “voter verifiable paper audit trails” – a backup system that lets people check their ballot selections on a paper printout before confirming their vote.

Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan said those backups help ensure Hoosiers have confidence in their vote.

“It also allows me and the Secretary of State’s office to better partner with our county election administrators to do post-election recounts, if needed, as well as post-election audits,” Sullivan said.

Some voter advocacy groups say the state shouldn’t put more money into electronic voting machines. Instead, they argue Indiana should eliminate such systems and just use paper ballots – as more states are doing.

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Sullivan said she believes electronic voting machines with paper backups are the “perfect blend.”

“Quick results and the ability to do a recount that is very reliable and fast,” Sullivan said.

The state will provide funding for every county that needs paper backup systems by July 1. Purchasing those systems will take time, but all should be in place by the 2024 elections.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.