Overview

  • Four in five Pennsylvania voters use machines that do not have a paper trail.PA is viewed as one of the most vulnerable states for hackers.
  • The Wolf administration at first gave states a deadline of April 2020 to change voting machines one that has a voter-verified paper record.
  • Governor Wolf is committed to asking lawmakers for state funding to cover at least half of the cost.
    Federal aid for the new machines is about 14 million dollars.
  • The wolf administration formalized its commitment to ensure every PA voter uses a “Voter-Verifiable paper ballot in 2020. The state is also requiring that audits of election results by 2020 before they can be certified.
    Counties are preparing to borrow money to pay for the machines, not knowing if or how much the state is going to kick in.
  • Some counties have already purchased or in the position to purchase new machines. Montgomery County has budgeted 8 million dollars. Philadelphia has set-aside 22 million dollars. Westmoreland County expects a cost of 7 million dollars.
  • The State of Pennsylvania has received 13.5 million dollars in Federal funds. The State has contributed 1 million.
  • The average cost of machines is about $5,500 to $12,000 per unit.
  • Cost state wide is about $125 million.
  • Bucks County’s Robert Loughery said that at present there is no timetable for the purchase but is committed to turning full attention to the issue once the Counties 2019 operating budget is finalized. The Commissioners are doing their Due Diligence and factfinding before a deadline can be set

Pros

  • A deterrent to hackers.
  • Voter-Verified Record.
  • Quick recovery from cyber-attack.
  • No noticeable delay in reporting election results.
  • Allows ballots to be counted or recounted by hand.
  • Approved by State Security Standards.
  • ADA Approved

Cons

  • Use Thermal paper not standard paper increasing paper cost.
  • Paper ballots must be scanned before vote is counted.
  • Screen varies in size by manufacture.
  • Screens are touch screens to adjust tone of color and size.
  • Some manufactures types are optical scan systems.
  • In some cases, the voter must scan a card to vote.
  • Polling locations need to be retrained in the new systems.
  • Additional Poll help may be required to introduce the new system to voters.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a call. We will put you in touch with a Judge of Elections who can answer your questions.