Auditor General Still Concerned About Philadelphia’s Selection of New Voting Machines

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale issued the following statement regarding the Philadelphia city commissioners’ selection of ES&S to provide new voting machines for the city.

“I still have serious concerns about the process that led to today’s commission vote and I urge City Council to review it carefully. In addition to my ongoing audit of the SURE system within the Department of State, my team will be carefully monitoring the deployment and use of new machines in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania.

“On Friday, I will announce the results of my review of whether officials in any of the 67 counties accepted gifts from voting equipment vendors, and offer recommendations on how all counties can do a better job.”

In November, the city issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to replace its voting system with a submission deadline of Dec. 28, 2018. The process was put on a fast track so that the city could have new equipment in place well ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

On Feb. 11, DePasquale said that it appeared Philadelphia’s Request for Proposals was written to favor one vendor, ES&S, and called for a full accounting of the process.

In December, DePasquale announced that he would review purchasing of voting systems by counties after it was reported that Luzerne County’s elections director accepted trips from a vendor that was selected to provide voting equipment. He will release the results of that review later this week.

In April 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of State told counties they have until the end of 2019 to select new voting systems that feature a paper record, which allows for more accurate post-election audits. The new systems are to be in use no later than the 2020 primary. Counties may choose from among any of the voting systems that are certified by both the federal and state governments.