Pennsylvania Counties to Prepare for Voting Machine Updates

The state’s 67 counties are being asked to pick new voting machines by the end of next year as part of a statewide push to improve security ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

by WNEP-TV, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton / December 12, 2018
Some of the least prepared governments, such as Pennsylvania, have repeatedly struggled to balance budgets, even as the economy has recovered. (David Kidd)

(TNS) — The governor’s office says new technology and better security is coming to a polling place near you.

Pennsylvania is in the process of updating its aging voting system in each county.

“The voter will hit start, and it will begin to display the races one by one to them,” said Daniel Chalupsky, the vice president of ElectionIQ, LLC as he demonstrated his company’s voting machine.

His company was one of five in the upper level of PNC Field where the public and elected officials got a chance to view what could be their county’s new voting systems by the 2020 primary elections.

“It will tell us we’re going to a summary screen,” said Chalpusky, operating the machine’s swipe screen. “It will now give us a summary of our ballot.”

Under a push by the governor’s office to update the state’s aging voting systems, the Pennsylvania Department of State hosted this expo where five companies displayed their voting machines.

Each county must pick one by the end of next year.

The state says this is an effort to provide more secure, more accurate, and better technology to voters in Pennsylvania.

“I’m very glad that this emphasis is being made to the voting process in Pennsylvania. The opportunity for voter fraud and election fraud needs to be contained,” said Mariann Keegan from Lackawaxen Township.

Most importantly, the state says the new voting machines will all have paper ballots for accountability.

“And that way for an audit later, for a recount later, that’s the ballot of record. It’s not a machine where you’re just pushing the button and hoping that it comes out. It’s an actual, verifiable ballot,” said Kathy Boockvar, the senior advisor to the governor on election modernization.

While the counties are responsible for paying for the voting machines they chose, the governor’s office says it is committed to covering 50 percent of the costs.

“I think the voters should come out and see what’s available and what the counties are looking for the future,” said Cindy Furman from Honesdale.

The next expo is Wednesday, December 11 in Carlisle.

All 67 Pennsylvania counties have until next December to make a selection.

©2018 WNEP-TV, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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