Cost is the biggest roadblock Valley election officials are having in meeting Gov. Tom Wolf’s mandate that all voting machines provide a paper trail before the 2020 presidential election. The mandate covers the entire state, including counties with optical scan machines that count votes marked on paper ballots, said Wanda Murren, a Department of State spokeswoman. Union County’s director of elections and voter registration Greg Katherman on Friday afternoon, said the county’s current voting machines are functioning, but worn and approaching the time in which they should be replaced. “There is some money coming from the Federal omnibus spending package, but it’s not enough to cover the costs,” he said.
It would cost more than $500,000 to replace Union County’s current system with similar machines that produce paper records, Katherman said.
“Somehow, we’re going to new machines. (Funding) may have to come from the counties themselves,” he said. “I would think that we need to have the updated machines in place by the 2019 election, as a way of ensuring that we are problem free by the 2020 presidential election.”