Charleston, W.Va. – On Monday, Governor Jim Justice signed into law HB 4438 expanding the state's prohibition against voting machines connecting to the internet. Secretary of State Mac Warner, who initially requested the legislation, thanked the Senate, House of Delegates, and Governor for their unanimous approval of the proposal in a bipartisan fashion.
According to Warner, all current voting machines used in the state's 55 counties do not connect to the internet. Warner said he requested the legislation to update a law that did not take into consideration new types of machines and technology.
In West Virginia, voting machine manufacturers must be certified by both the federal U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the WV State Election Commission (SEC). The federal and state certification processes are substantial and rigorous, requiring all voting machines and upgrades to be vetted by multiple independent and bipartisan technology experts including a federally certified Voting System Testing Laboratory and West Virginia computer experts of different political parties appointed by the SEC. State certification is prohibited if any system is not first certified by the federal U.S. Election Assistance Commission, and counties are permitted to purchase only those machines approved by the SEC.
"This legislation increases security for West Virginia elections by ensuring that no voting machine in any county will ever be permitted to connect to the internet," Warner said. "This is yet another layer of security that builds voter confidence in the integrity and outcomes of our elections."
With the 2022 Primary Election right around the corner, citizens are reminded that all counties will publicly test their voting machines for logic and accuracy before the election. The public tests typically take place in the county courthouse or annex, but interested citizens are encouraged to contact their local county clerk to confirm the date, time and location.
For more information about the upcoming May 10th Primary Election, visit the WV Secretary of State's website at GoVoteWV.com.