Bill would increase penalties for tampering with voting machines

Updated: May. 3, 2019 at 6:41 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Secretary of State’s office is advocating for a bill that would increase the penalties someone faces for tampering with electronic voting machines.

Currently it is a misdemeanor to tamper or misuse an electronic voting machine. The bill would make it a Class B felony to tamper with, hack or manipulate the machines.

“As we all know the election climate is changing and we must change with it, and there’s a couple things that must go with it," said Clay Helms, the Director of Elections with the Alabama Secretary of State's office.

This bill also makes it a felony to encourage someone to vote with an absentee ballot in order to change their vote.

The Secretary of State's office says since 2015, six people have been convicted of voter fraud.

“It is not a hypothetical," Helms said. "It is not just a fear or fear mongering. It is very real and it is here.”

The office said there are not known attempts to hack the machines.

The bill is expected to be in committee next week.

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