State Approves $25 Million For New Voting Tabulators

News release from Connecticut Voters First:

The State Bond Commission met Friday and voted to provide $25 million in funding for new voting machines to replace Connecticut’s 17-year-old tabulators. Connecticut Voters First released the following statement regarding the critical vote.

We applaud Governor Lamont, the State Legislature, and the bi-partisan members of the State Bond Commission for voting today to fund these much-needed new voting machines.

We also recognize the Secretary of the State and the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut (ROVAC) for their effective advocacy to make today possible for Connecticut voters.

The new machines will be Ranked Choice Voting-capable, removing another hurdle to implementing a Ranked Choice Voting system that has proven to increase participation. In our region, Maine, Massachusetts, New York City, and Vermont have implemented full or partial Ranked Choice Voting. With more choice, voters have a stronger voice in the outcome of elections and greater confidence their vote will make a difference. 60% of Americans favor Ranked Choice Voting, which is rapidly expanding in the United States (8 of 10 RCV ballot initiatives advanced in 2023).

CT Voter’s First Chair Scott Muller stated, “The new machines are critical to maintaining a vital and well-functioning democratic process in Connecticut. Governor Lamont, Secretary of the State Thompson, and Republican and Democratic legislators deserve enormous credit for prioritizing the functioning of our democracy at a time when many argue it is most at risk. The new technology will bring us closer to the reality of advancing Ranked Choice Voting in Connecticut. We’ve seen anemic voter turnout in recent primary elections across our state, and voters are becoming increasingly disenfranchised by the behavior of public officials from Bridgeport, CT, to Washington, D.C., who fail to put the interests of voters first. Ranked Choice Voting has proven to increase participation and enthusiasm in elections by providing more choice, particularly in precincts with higher poverty rates and among voters of color. Last year, a diverse group of leaders from across the state came together to support a bi-partisan bill that was debated in the State House of Representatives. We are hopeful that legislation will pass in 2024 to fully utilize the new machines funded by today’s vote and help increase participation in Connecticut’s elections.”

* Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) allows voters to rank more than one candidate in order of preference on the ballot (1st Choice, 2nd Choice, etc.), eliminating the need to conduct separate runoff elections to produce a majority winner.

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