A bitter cold snap in Erie last week didn’t keep away scores of people from visiting the city’s lakeside library last week, checking out the next generation in voting machines as county officials from across the state scramble with a new voting security mandate. Many, like Joe Gallagher, were poll workers who could be using the machines a little more than a year from now. Gallagher said he came out of “curiosity about the integrity of systems we’re putting into place. There are always some windows open for error.” Pennsylvania plans to close at least one of those windows, replacing every voting machine used in the state with machines that retain a paper record.
The path toward doing so won’t be straightforward, as the range of machines on display suggested.
Some vendors, like Russ Dawson of Electec Election Services, boasted of how low-tech their systems are.
While other firms have every voter mark their ballot with a touchscreen, Dawson said, “In our case, this is the ballot marking device: a pen.”