Rhode Island set to modernize its voting equipment

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — Rhode Island is modernizing its voting equipment.

Gov. Gina Raimondo on Thursday signed legislation authorizing Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea to purchase upgraded voting equipment and software to replace current machines that are nearly two decades old.

Raimondo says the new machines will make voting easier and will make sure every vote gets counted.

“Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, allowing everyone to exercise their right to vote in the United States without racial discrimination,” said Raimondo. “This anniversary reminds us that voting is a fundamental right that should be protected. The content of this bill continues to move Rhode Island into the 21st century by allowing the Secretary of State to purchase new voting equipment that has not been replaced in decades.”

Gorbea says she wants to modernize the equipment as part of a review of the entire elections process. She says voting is the most important right granted to citizens.

The secretary has said she won’t know the cost of the upgrade until she evaluates the technology available. Her office will seek proposals based on recommendations from a task force she convened to study voting equipment.

Raimondo, a Democrat, hosted the ceremonial bill signing at the statehouse.

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