“There’s no doubt that our voting machines as a whole across the state need to be replaced,” Elliot said. “The security and integrity of the voting system and individual votes is of ultimate importance. It ranks right up there in what state government should be doing.”
“The machine that I was assigned locked up, and they had to move me to another one in order to vote,” he said. “Yes, I would be supportive of funding new machines.”
“By today’s standards, they’re ancient artifacts,” he said of the touch-screens. “Polling managers have expressed to me the need for new machines and I agree. Failing voting machines are absolutely unacceptable.”
”The reliability and security of the electoral process is fundamental to our system of government,” Cole said. It’s all just a matter of scarce resources. We are going to be facing some constraints this year. It will be a challenge with the continuing challenges of the retirement system, and certainly an issue we’d like to address if we can.”
Sen. Scott Talley, R-Spartanburg, who chairs the delegation, said he also wants new machines “for security purposes.”
“Henry Laye and I have discussed the funding need, and I am hopeful that we will address it next year,” Talley said.
“I would support funding for a more secure voting machine that has more credibility, especially one that assures the voter that his/her vote was recorded properly,”
First and foremost, we must have durable records of voter-marked intent. Or, simply put, we must have paper ballots with optical-scan counting. When we began using digitized vote recording, we gave away our ability to effectively audit or recount votes.
In addition, we must make certain that the purchase of new election equipment remains an open and transparent process.
Ensuring election integrity is not a Republican or Democratic issue. It is an issue that impacts every South Carolinian, as well as every American. Voting is the constitutional right from which we derive all of our other rights. Democracy will end if we do not protect the integrity of elections by assuring that each ballot is correctly recorded and correctly tabulated.
The audit request, from then-Sen. Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, cited questions raised about the machines by the James Island Public Service Commission, regarding the lack of a paper trail for vote tallies. Mr. McConnell requested that the LAC review the electronic machines currently used with an eye toward their possible replacement “with voting machines that incorporate a paper trail or with a replacement process whereby we can have a confirmation that the results are accurate.”