The next time Pennsylvanians vote in a presidential election, it will most likely be on updated machines. New voting systems must be in place in every county by the end of 2019, per updated guidelines set by Governor Tom Wolf’s administration. “All of the systems you see here have a voter-verifiable, paper ballot,” said Jonathan Marks, at a vendor event Wednesday at Dickinson College where several different brands of machines were set up for the public to try firsthand. “They’ve also been certified to newer security standards; the current equipment in use in Pennsylvania is certified to standards that were actually written in the 1990’s.”
The new machines will produce a paper record when a voter casts their ballot, complimenting the digital tally; the ones you voted on last month, probably didn’t.
That physical paper trail and extra layer of security made Carlisle resident, Gail Hills, feel more at ease.
She said she’s recently been worried about the integrity of her vote.
“When I cast my ballot, the system that we use now, I’m not certain that what is on the cartridge is really the person I voted for,” said Hills. “When you hit the candidate that you choose, you’re not certain that you’ve picked the right one because sometimes it can be off a little bit.”
Improvements are good but cost is always a concern, so the Department of State is exploring a cost-share set up with federal, state and local funding.
Marks said each machine on display Wednesday vary in price between about $2,000 to $6,000.