Clinton County commissioners are rallying financial support for new voting machines to improve election quality. Commissioners Pete Smeltz and Paul Conklin, who were present at Thursday’s voting meeting, said they submitted a letter to state Sens. Joe Scarnati (R-Brockway) and Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte), U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-Howard) and State Rep. Tom Marino (R-Williamsport) asking them to put pressure on Congress to authorize the remaining $396 million in Help America Vote Act funds so Pennsylvania counties can replace aging election equipment. This cause has the backing of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP), and commissioners agree that most Pennsylvania counties need to replace their voting machines.
In Clinton County’s case, voting machines are around 10 years old. According to Chief Clerk Jann Meyers, and a report released by CCAP, new voting machines range from $2,500 to $3,000. The cost does not include central counting systems, supplies, programming and maintenance agreements.
The federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 allocated funds to states to update their voting technology. Most counties replaced their equipment in 2006, but 12 years later, the once-new equipment is reaching the end of its useful life.
Smeltz said new voting machines will give each voter a receipt for their vote. The commissioners did not address what type of voting machines the county would purchase with HAVA funds if they were released.