Pennsylvania must replace voting machines, lawmakers told

Marc Levy
Associated Press

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania’s top elections official is warning that failing to replace voting machines by 2020 could make the state the only one without a voter-verifiable paper trail.

Kathy Boockvar, Pennsylvania’s acting state secretary, also told state senators Wednesday during an Appropriations Committee hearing that election-security experts agree that moving to voting machines that allow voters to double check how their vote was recorded needs to happen by next year.

Paula Sembach of Dauphin County is advised by Willie Wesley, Jr, director of business development for Election Systems and Software, while sampling a voting machine with her husband Fred, who is chief of staff to State Senator Mike Folmer Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018. They were attending the New Voting Systems Expo hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of State at Dickinson College. Pennsylvania counties are preparing to replace voting machines after Gov. Tom Wolf in April mandated that voting machines used in the state have a verifiable paper trail. Bill Kalina photo

Boockvar was responding to questions from state Sen. Bob Mensch over why Pennsylvania is rushing to buy machines at considerable taxpayer expense when there’s no legitimate example of a voter irregularity in Pennsylvania.

Gov. Tom Wolf’s push for new machines comes after federal authorities say Russian hackers targeted at least 21 states during the 2016 presidential election.

More:County officials: Wolf's voting machine pitch better than nothing

More:'It's nuts': Amid uncertainty, York County forms committee on voting machines

More:What's the problem with York County's voting machines?

More:Replacing York County's outdated voting machines: Looming deadline, big bill