Officials say a $1.8 million upgrade needed for Kentucky Registry of Election Finance filing system

10/27/2015 04:17 PM

FRANKFORT – The filing system for the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance is in need of an upgrade to make the entire reporting system more efficient and to avoid a possible breakdown.

That was the warning from Kentucky Registry of Election Finance Executive Director John Steffen on Tuesday to members of the Interim Joint Committee on State Government Task Force on Elections, Constitutional Amendments & Intergovernmental Affairs.

Steffen says that the old system, implemented in the 1990’s, is becoming obsolete and the chance of a breakdown with no maintenance support grows as times goes by.

“The system as it exists, was put together of three different elements,” said Steffen. “None of those elements are supported by the makers of those products anymore. We’re trying to keep this system up and running with no support from the manufacturers of it.”

Under the current system, where data has to be manually entered by staff, only candidate’s contributions are entered.

“With a system modernization, we can take it and scan it into the system and the public can actually see your form instead of a format that we’ve entered in to with user error possibilities and everything else,” said Steffen. “While we type in your contributions, we do not have the staff capability or size to type in the expenditures. So, the public is only getting half of what they should be seeing.”

Steffen told the committee members that he sees the upgrade process as a 2-year project to get the system up and running and tested out before it is rolled out.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, agrees that the system needs to upgraded, but feels that funds in this year’s budget for the project will not be possible.

“We’re going into a very difficult budget session and I just don’t think that we can make any commitments with the requirements that we’re going to have on pensions and on the ten percent of state dollars going for Obamacare in the second year of the budget,” Thayer said. “I don’t know if we’re going to be able to increase spending anywhere, let alone, make an investment in infrastructure and technology.”


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