RICHMOND, Va. — Election Day 2014 was frustrating not only for some voters, but also some Virginians who tried to follow the election online. The state’s Department of Elections’ website was, at times, slow to update and some voting machines around Virginia appeared to only let voters choose one candidate, regardless of whose name was pressed.
Monday, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe announced he had included $28 million in his budget to buy new voting machines so all Virginia precincts would have “uniform, state-of-the-art equipment for the 2015 November elections.”
“We cannot expect Virginians to come to the polls on Election Day if we cannot ensure that their votes will be counted correctly and in a timely manner,” Governor McAuliffe said in a statement. “The problems Virginia encountered on Election Day this year were unacceptable, which is why I have taken unprecedented steps to replace all legacy voting equipment in the Commonwealth with state-of-the art machines that have paper trails and will update our Department of Elections website.”
Nearly 50 Virginia localities reported voting equipment issues last month.
“This investment will increase transparency and accountability in our election processes,” Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections Edgardo Cortes said in a statement. “It will also reduce inefficiencies by allowing the Department of Elections to provide uniform training to all election officials, volunteers, and monitors since all localities will have the same voting technology.”
The General Assembly will debate the budget during its upcoming session.