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Michigan to implement new voting equipment, receives $11 million grant

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has announced how new voting equipment and an $11 million grant will help better prepare the state for the coming gubernatorial election this November. (FILE)

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has announced how new voting equipment and an $11 million grant will help better prepare the state for the coming gubernatorial election this November.

The next-generation voting equipment is being lauded for holding extra security features that will allow for better physical security and advanced data encryption methods. The equipment was paid for via a combination from $10 million that Johnson pushed through legislature along with $30 million that was saved in federal money through efforts from Johnson and her predecessor, Terri Lynn Land, for more than a decade.

“Most importantly, every voter across Michigan still will use a good, old-fashioned paper ballot to mark their choices,” Johnson said in a press release. “Then they’ll feed the ballot into a new next-generation voting machine designed with security in mind."

Johnson also highlighted an $11.2 million grant that is expected to be used to advance other cybersecurity measures on the state, county and local levels. The state will be contributing $500,000 to receive the other $10.7 million. The Bureau of Election is still determining how exactly to utilize the grant.

In addition to the two major updates, the state will also be able to use an updated Qualified Voter File system and have an opportunity for ballot validation during post-election audits, meaning an extra verification step to be sure tabulation machines recorded the votes properly.

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