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Lawson Says Lawmakers Wouldn't Provide Election Security Money She Asked For

Secretary of State Connie Lawson demonstrates the use of a paper audit trail on an electronic voting machine.

Secretary of State Connie Lawson demonstrates the use of a paper audit trail on an electronic voting machine. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Secretary of State Connie Lawson says Indiana legislators wouldn’t provide funding for election security measures at the level she wanted.

Still, Lawson says Hoosiers should have confidence their votes are secure.

About two-thirds of Indiana counties use electronic voting machines that experts say should include paper audit trails. The General Assembly this year appropriated $10 million in the new state budget for election security, which will pay to add those paper trails to just 10 percent of the machines that need them by next year.

Lawson says she initially asked budget writers for more money.

“But they told us to get real," Lawson says. "So, we got real and we tried to hone it down to where it was possible to get the dollars.”

READ MORE: State Approves First Voter-Verified Paper Trail For Electronic Voting Machines

Lawson says adding paper trails to 10 percent of the machines is an important marker.

“We know that that would be enough to take a good statistical sampling of the way the ballots were cast and that we could do a post-election audit and determine that there were no anomalies,” Lawson says.

Lawson stresses that none of the state's electronic voting machines are ever connected to the internet.

It will be a decade before all Indiana voting machines that need paper trails get them, unless counties move forward on their own.

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

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