Senator: Nebraska voting equipment needs to be replaced

Mar 16, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A state senator is urging lawmakers to look seriously at replacing Nebraska's election equipment, which could cost the state between $20 million and $30 million.

Sen. John Murante of Gretna said Wednesday that the current equipment is on pace to fail, and inaction is not an option.

His comments during a legislative hearing drew support from Secretary of State John Gale, who urged lawmakers to have the state cover the cost rather than counties. Gale says many counties can't afford the technology and would have to revert to hand-counting ballots if their equipment failed.

Senators presented bills at the hearing that would allow counties to conduct vote-by-mail elections and legalize optical scanners, among other changes. Because of a state revenue shortfall, most are unlikely to advance this year.

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