New Voting Machines Put on Display for Counties & Voters

State and county elections officials got the chance to look at the next generation of voting systems as the Department of State ordered all voting machines to have paper back ups following 2020.

According to the Patriot News five vendors displayed their voting machines that, while similar to current voting machines, have paper backups.  

“All of them seemed rather intuitive to operate with accommodations for individuals with disabilities. For many, the new voting machines look similar to the touch-screen ones they have been using – except that the new machines provide a paper record of votes which in some systems has to be scanned for the vote to be cast,” the Patriot News wrote.

Earlier this year, Governor Tom Wolf ordered that all voting machines have paper backups ahead of the 2020 Presidential election.  The shift is expected to cost between $100 to $150 million, with the federal government chipping in around $13 million.

From the Patriot News:

Unlike the current voting machines that require counties to buy all of the hardware and software from a particular vendor, Marks said counties will be able to negotiate their own price for commercial, off-the-shelf hardware for their precincts and their vendor will modify it for the purpose of elections.

Pricewise, he said the cost of the different voting systems vary. Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres’ office said earlier this month the price could cost between $95 million and $153 million. He said so far, $14.2 million of federal and state funds have been identified to apply to the cost of the replacements but that potentially leaves counties footing the lion’s share of the cost.

County officials are calling on state lawmakers to make some election code reforms to consolidate smaller municipalities into a single voting centers or permit counties to mail ballots to voters. This could reduce the number of new voting machines that have to be purchased and maintained as well as cut down on the number of poll workers to man the polls.

April 27th, 2018 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Governor, Top Stories | No Comments