Governor Tom Wolf announced that all 67 Pennsylvania counties have taken official action toward acquiring new voting systems. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other national security and election security experts have urged Pennsylvania and other states to use new voting systems with advanced security and a paper trail.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment, and I applaud all 67 counties for their commitment to protecting our elections,” said Gov. Wolf. “These new modern machines are an important step to strengthen the accuracy of our voting systems and the integrity of our elections.”
In October, Governor Wolf signed Act 77 of 2019, which made the most significant improvements to Pennsylvania’s elections in more than 80 years. In addition to making voting more convenient by creating the option to vote by mail and allowing more time to register to vote, the law provides $90 million to reimburse counties for up to 60 percent of their costs for new voting systems. These funds are in addition to $14.15 million in 2018 federal funding that Gov. Wolf allocated for counties acquiring new voting systems.
“County officials have shown great leadership in advancing election security and modernization by providing new voting systems with a paper trail so voters can verify their choices before casting their ballot and officials can conduct meaningful post-election audits,” Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said. “Thanks to the dedication of county commissioners and election officials, all Pennsylvania voters can go to the polls in this critical election year with confidence that their votes will be counted accurately and securely and that their voices will be heard.”
In April 2018, the Department of State informed counties they must select new voting systems that provide a paper record, meet the latest standards of security and accessibility for people with disabilities, and can be more thoroughly audited than current systems.
Every new system has successfully completed penetration testing, access control testing and testing to ensure that every access point and all software and firmware are protected from tampering. In addition, every voting system and paper ballot must include plain text that voters can read to confirm their choices before casting their ballot and election officials can use to perform pre-election testing and post-election audits and recounts.
Counties were required to take action toward selecting new voting systems by December 31, 2019 and implement the new systems no later than the 2020 primary election. Forty-five counties used new systems in the 2019 general election in November.
For more information about voting in Pennsylvania and Act 77, visit votesPA.com.