Moosic, PA – As Pennsylvania counties prepare to replace aging voting systems, the Department of State is inviting the public to view several new voting systems that offer 21st-century advanced security and a paper trail. The expo is 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Lackawanna County Stadium, 235 Montage Mountain Road.
“These new voting systems will strengthen election security and ensure the integrity of each vote,” said Jonathan Marks, commissioner of the Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation. “This is an opportunity for voters to try the new technology and see how a paper record lets them verify their choices are correct before casting a ballot.”
In April, Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres informed counties they must select new voting systems that provide a paper record by the end of 2019, and preferably have a system in use by the November 2019 general election or no later than the 2020 primary.
Nationwide, there is bipartisan and near universal agreement that, in the interest of security, Direct Recording Electronic voting machines (DREs), still in use in many Pennsylvania counties, should be replaced, and all voters should be voting on paper ballots they can verify. The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and many experts have urged states to switch to new systems that produce paper records.
Ultimately, counties will have their choice from among any of the voting systems that achieve certification from both the federal Election Assistance Commission and the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Two of the systems to be displayed at the expo have already received both federal and state certification and one system has successfully completed certification testing. The department expects a total of six systems will be certified.
Governor Wolf has committed to seeking state funding for at least half of the counties’ cost for new voting systems. He will work with the General Assembly in 2019 to develop specific proposals for state funding and financing.
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania received nearly $13.5 million in federal funding for election security. With Pennsylvania’s required 5-percent state match, the package totals $14.15 million and will be allocated to counties for replacement of voting systems.
The department is currently revising and will reissue this month a statewide purchasing contract that vendors and counties can leverage to support voting system purchases. The department also is pursuing funding from a variety of sources, including additional federal aid, grants, low-interest financing, leases, cost-sharing and other means.
The Moosic expo is one of five expos the department has scheduled across the state. Expos will be held in Carlisle on Wednesday and in Doylestown on Thursday. An expo was held in State College on November 29. An Erie expo was postponed in late November due to inclement weather but will be rescheduled in January. These events are a continuation of the department’s public education campaign to inform voters and local officials about new voting systems and to allow them to test the systems’ features.
Vendors participating in the demonstration are Unisyn Voting Solutions, Dominion Voting Systems, Election Systems & Software (ES&S), Hart InterCivic and Clear Ballot Group.
MEDIA CONTACT: Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621