INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indianaís top elections official is planning to use more than $7.5 million
in federal funding on improving the stateís election security but wonít
upgrade its voting machines
Secretary of State Connie Lawson has announced plans for using the federal
assistance to strengthen voting systems ahead of the November election.
Indiana was among the states and territories to receive money from the $380
million approved by Congress amid ongoing threats from Russia and others.
Indiana will also
spend an additional $659,000 on election security under the requirement to
match 5 percent of grant funding with state money, The Indianapolis Star
reported. The state money will go toward evaluating election infrastructure,
conducting third-party testing, implementing email encryption and training
state and county officials, according to Lawson.
Indiana was one of
five states to receive a failing grade this year in the Center for American
Progress assessment of election security. Indianaís ďFĒ grade was in part
because some of the stateís voting machines donít include voter-verifiable
But Lawson said
adequate funding isnít available to make that change.
Itís estimated to
cost between $22.7 million to $35.6 million to replace Indianaís voting
machines, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
Valerie Warycha, a
spokeswoman for the secretary of stateís office, said Indiana residents
should be assured that the midterm election will be secure. She said the
voting machines arenít connected to the internet and there isnít evidence of
any votes being changed in the 2016 presidential election.
ďSince there is not
enough money to replace machines, we are looking at ways to maximize the
impact of the funding we are receiving to have an impact on the entire
state,Ē Warycha said.
Lawson also said in
a letter to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission that her office will
work with the Indiana Legislature to get equipment replaced in the future.
Jim Harper, the
Democratic nominee facing Lawson in the November election, criticized the
secretary of state for not starting the process of switching to machines
that produce a paper trail.
that the secretary hasnít taken the most basic steps to ensure our
infrastructure, our voting machines,Ē Harper said.