Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania is spending millions on election security, but the effort has its critics | PennLive

The release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election brings the issue of election security back into the spotlight. Protecting the integrity of elections is of particular concern to Pennsylvania after escaping an unsuccessful hacking attempt of the statewide voter registration database by Russian operatives in 2016. With the next presidential election now just a year away, county and state election officials are scrambling to make sure they have done everything they possibly can to avoid foreign actors creating chaos when voters go to the polls to elect the nation’s chief executive. Under an order by Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania is moving to voting machines that leave a paper trail that can be audited. Other efforts include securing the voter registration data. Election officials maintain they are ferreting out potential vulnerabilities that could cast doubt on the integrity of election results and making changes to address them before next year’s primary. That’s why Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar says with certainty, “Pennsylvania voters can be completely confident that when they vote in the presidential primary their vote will be counted accurately.” With those efforts, though, come some resistance from county officials along with concerns, particularly about the cost of new voting systems. Replacing those machines alone is expected to cost between $93 million and $150 million, depending on which system the counties choose, according to Boockvar’s department.