State officials directing counties to replace voting machines by end of 2019

David Weissman
York Dispatch
York County Elections and Voter Registration Director Nikki Suchanic talks to poll workers about the card activator device during a training session at the Red Lion Area Senior Center in Red in 2015. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Pennsylvania's counties will need to have new voting systems with a voter-verifiable paper record chosen by the end of 2019, according to a new directive from state officials.

Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres informed counties Thursday, April 12, of the new directive, which urges county officials to have new machines in place in time for the November 2019 general election, according to a department news release.

The release also notes that Pennsylvania will be allocated $13.5 million in federal funding to assist counties with replacing their machines as part of the latest appropriations act.

More than $14 million will be available to counties as the federal funding required a 5 percent state match.

York County's voting machines have been in use since November 2006 and don't leave a paper trail.

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When the state announced in February that all future voting systems purchased in the state must leave a paper trail, Nikki Suchanic, the county's director of voting and elections, said replacing the county's machines is an oft-discussed topic but no timeline has been set.

Suchanic could not be reached for comment on the latest directive.

Wanda Murren, a Department of State spokeswoman, wrote in an email that every county's machines will need to be replaced, even counties that currently have a paper trail, because of  the age of the software and lack of available upgrades.