Officials discuss new voting machines for PA

Local News
OTD September 6 - voting_1650072877455773-159532

Counties across Pennsylvania have been told to get new voting machines in place by the 2020 presidential election.

But now, one state lawmaker is trying to put a stop to that.

Matt Heckel reported on the story from Harrisburg.

“There’s really no truth to the idea that our voting systems can be hacked, because none of them are connected to the internet in any way,” said Jerry Feaser.

Jerry Feaser, the director of Dauphin County’s Bureau of Elections says the voting machines used in his county have been in place since the 80s and are perfectly safe from hacking.

“Dauphin County’s voting systems not only are not connected to the internet, it’s not capable of being connected to the internet,” said Feaser.

But Governor Wolf and the Department of State are requiring that counties switch to new voting machines, ones that leave a paper trail by the 2020 election. Now, State Senate Majority Whip John Gordner is drafting legislation that would require legislative approval before the governor could force counties to buy new machines.

“We certainly would support any legislation that’s being proposed that would enable us to have a little more of a thorough review,” said Feaser.

In a memo sent to lawmakers this week, Senator Gordner also mentions concerns over cost, estimated as being between $100 and $150 million. But after Russian hackers targeted Pennsylvania’s election system in 2016, officials say they want to make sure everyone is confident that their vote counts.

“It’s extremely important that the voters of Pennsylvania have a lot of confidence in the integrity of the election,” said Secretary of State, Robert Torres.

Senator Gordner says he hopes his bill will get a committee hearing when lawmakers return to the capitol in January.

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