Report: Election machines retrofit would cost $17M

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - An audit of the state Elections Commission shows it would cost more than $17 million to retrofit South Carolina's existing electronic voting machines to produce a paper trail.

Much of the report released Wednesday by the Legislative Audit Council deals with the system's inability to produce an auditable paper trail to verify votes.

Executive director Marci Andino says such a system wasn't available when the machines were bought in 2004. According to the report, agency officials don't believe it's cost effective to retrofit machines that should be replaced within a few years.

The House budget proposal for 2012-13 includes Andino's request for $5 million to begin saving for a new system after 2016.

The report says the last purchase of 11,400 machines cost $35 million.

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