St. Joseph County applies for grant funds to improve election security

NOW: St. Joseph County applies for grant funds to improve election security

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - Concerns about hackers, cyber-attacks and voting integrity are not going away, but steps are being taken here in St. Joseph County to ensure your vote counts.

St. Joseph County Clerk Amy Rolfes says her office recently applied for three different state grants through the Help America Vote act.

Rolfes says this funding will help better secure elections and deal with the larger voter turnout that’s anticipated in the 2024 election cycle.

This year, the Office of Indiana Secretary of State is awarding up to $2 million to Indiana counties in the form of grant funding.

“I was able to put in three different applications, which was approved by the county election board and by the commissioners," said Rolfes.

The third grant will pay for a new high-speed scanner, which is said to improve election result reporting.

If this funding is approved, it will help secure the 2024 election.

Rofles has implemented new security measures this election cycle, which she says will help restore confidence in the election process. 

“We found a new location for the ballot room," she said. "We added more technology inside and outside the ballot room. We now have a log that anytime anyone goes into the ballot room, it's a signature, it's a reason for being there.”

Former St. Joseph County Clerk Rita Glenn was accused of improperly accessing the ballot room, just days leading up to the 2022 primary.

She was later cleared of any wrongdoing after an investigation by the Indiana State Police.

Another security focus for the county is ensuring both democrats and republicans have supervision of the ballots at all times.

Rolfes promises both a Democrat and a Republican will be with each ballot. 

"They walk together, they take them from here in the lobby, up to the fourth floor where our ballot room is. Everything is bipartisan," she said. 

St. Joseph County also offers a program called Travel Board for Voters, a form of absentee voting. 

Two absentee workers will come to your house, so you can vote.

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