Delaware Public Media

Delaware to send bids for new voting equipment

Sep 13, 2017

Delaware will put out a request for bids on new voting machines by the end of month.

Delaware’s current voting machines have been in use since 1996.

The state has about 1,600 voting machines. Considered state of art when they were purchased more than twenty years ago, they’re now outdated. A 2015 report by the Brennan Center for Justice notes that the machine models Delaware uses are no longer being made and have outlived their expected lifespan.

State Elections Commissioner Elaine Manlove says the state has never had an issue with the voting machines.

“We’ve never had a problem with these machines," she said. "They are not connected to the internet, so I’m not at all concerned about hacking - never have been. Technology has changed. We’ve had these machines for, I think, 21 years so it’s just time. Technology has changed.”

Delaware is one of a handful of states where machines lack a voter-verified paper audit trail.

Manlove says the new machines must be easy to use and have a paper trail. Delaware is one of a handful of states where machines lack a voter-verified paper audit trail.

Manlove adds Delaware will probably have to wait until 2020 for the new voting machines because the purchasing process will take some time.

“Then, they’re not sitting on a shelf somewhere, they’re going to have to be manufactured. It would be just too much of a rush to think we could do this by 2018. I’d rather do this well than fast.”

Manlove says she doesn’t expect any issues with the current machines in next year’s elections. That’s despite allegations in 2016 of national election rigging. A few weeks before last November’s election, former Delaware GOP Chairman Charlie Copeland said Delaware was “ripe with the potential for fraud.”