Pennsylvania: Dauphin County resists Pennsylvania’s push for new voting machines | Marc Levy/Associated Press

A Pennsylvania county is signaling that it won’t go along with Gov. Tom Wolf’s insistence that counties buy new voting systems as a security measure in 2020’s election, when the state is expected to be a premier presidential battleground. Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries, a Republican, said Wednesday that he’s comfortable with the county’s old machines, particularly after hearing about paper jams, long lines and other problems in other counties that debuted new machines in last week’s election. Some of those new machines were under consideration by Dauphin County. “There’s an old saying: ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it,’” Pries said in an interview. “Our machines work, they’re fundamentally sound, we trust our machines, you cannot hack our machines.” Thus far, no other county in Pennsylvania has taken such a hard line against getting new voting machines, now seven weeks before the Dec. 31 deadline that Wolf gave counties to select new machines that have an auditable paper backup. Pennsylvania’s presidential primary election is April 28, and Wolf’s administration has warned lawmakers and county officials that it will decertify the counties’ old voting systems Dec. 31. His administration reiterated Wednesday it has not reconsidered that decision, although it is making exceptions for special elections to fill legislative vacancies before April.

Editorials: Transparency sought in Delaware voting system purchase | Jennifer Hill/Delaware State News

Common Cause Delaware has been closely following the state of Delaware’s work to purchase a new voting system. For the past 18 months Common Cause has attended election system demonstrations, met with state election officials and state legislators, held public forums and worked with the media in our effort to be a voice for transparency and election integrity. CCDE was able to obtain the voting system bids from the Office of Management and budget in late July. Those bids came to the Department of Elections in January of this year, and at that time only the names of the vendors were released to the public. After our requests to see the content of the bids were rejected, we made a FOIA request for the information contained in the bids so all Delawareans would know the possible options for our new voting system. Many states are replacing their aging voting systems and Delaware is one of only five states that still operate with machines that have no paper trail. Delaware first used the voting machines in 1996 and we will be voting on those same machines in the 2018 elections.

Arkansas: Voting machine upgrades cause issues between county, state | El Dorado News Times

Citing too many unanswered questions, the Union County Quorum Court voted 8-2 Thursday to table a discussion about the possibility of receiving new voting machines from the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. The issue began earlier this year, when the state began to offer assistance to counties to purchase new voting machines. But in Union County, that offer has been rescinded more than once, leaving local officials unsure of how to proceed. Officials also voiced concerns with replacing equipment before the November election. Last month, Union County Judge Mike Loftin received a letter from Kelly Boyd, chief deputy Secretary of State, offering the county new voting machines for elections, for which the state would pay 50 percent of the costs. The letter stated that the total cost for the new machines for Union County would be around $440,000, using Election System & Software (ES&S).

Pennsylvania: Philadelphia won’t have new voting machines in place for 2020 election, commissioner says | WHYY

Pennsylvania has told its counties to install new voting machines, if those now in service don’t have a “paper trail” that can be used for a recount. Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres set a Dec. 31, 2019, deadline for replacing the machines, in order to have new systems in place statewide for the 2020 presidential election. But Philadelphians won’t be casting their next vote for president on updated equipment. Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley said the city will find machines by the deadline, but they will not be  put in service. “I think that we are on track in the city of Philadelphia to have new equipment selected by the close of 2019,” she said.

Delaware: Who Would Dare Hack Delaware’s Elections? | State of Elections

As the investigation of Russia’s role in the 2016 Presidential election continues, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) finally announced which states experienced hacking attempts within the last year. Among those targeted was Delaware. With only three Electoral College votes and a consistent Democratic voting record in the last seven presidential elections, it is bizarre to see Delaware in the company of swing states like Wisconsin, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. However, unlike Virginia, which is updating its voting system to ensure election security, Delaware is updating its voting system for a very different reason: efficiency.

Delaware: Election Commission to send bids for new voting equipment | Delaware First Media

Delaware will put out a request for bids on new voting machines by the end of month. Delaware’s current voting machines have been in use since 1996. The state has about 1,600 voting machines. Considered state of art when they were purchased more than twenty years ago, they’re now outdated. A 2015 report by the Brennan Center for Justice notes that the machine models Delaware uses are no longer being made and have outlived their expected lifespan. …  Manlove adds Delaware will probably have to wait until 2020 for the new voting machines because the purchasing process will take some time.

Delaware: Department of Elections pursues voting machine modernization | Delaware State News | Delaware State News

On Thursday morning, the Kent County Department of Elections completed its inspection of all 32 voting machines that will be used in the upcoming Kent County Levy Court special election. … In addition to routine inspection, the department recently has been pursuing modernization of voting equipment. Last year, state election commissioner Elaine Manlove requested a task force to review existing equipment (House Bill 342). On Tuesday the resulting task force met for the first time to discuss a strategy.

Pennsylvania: Aging voting machines pose a future cause for concern in some counties | PennLive

People often complain about long lines when they go to cast their vote on Election Day, particularly in presidential election years, but imagine how much worse it would be if large numbers of the state’s aging voting machines broke down and parts to fix them were hard to come by. It’s that type of scenario that Sen. Elder Vogel, R-Beaver County, hopes to avoid. He authored a resolution calling for a study on aging voting machines in the state that the Senate adopted last month. It directs the Joint State Government Commission to complete the study within the next 18 months and issue its findings and recommendations. County election officials are already “scavenging parts” when problems arise, he said. He wants to be proactive “before it becomes a crisis.” Barry Kauffman, a senior adviser to Common Cause Pennsylvania, agrees this is an issue that needs to be dealt with – and soon. “We know these machines are aging out … some of the software isn’t even serviced anymore,” Kauffman said. “There is a serious need to protect the integrity of our elections.” Along with that, he would like to see more voting machines that are user-friendly and ensure votes are counted correctly. “In the end, we need timely, accurate results,” he said.

Arkansas: Deadline too tight, election officials stress | Arkansas Online

The Pulaski County Election Commission is questioning whether Secretary of State Mark Martin should delay his plans to replace the state’s voting machines by the March 1 primary election and instead wait until 2017 to overhaul the voting machines in the state’s 75 counties. Martin’s office has received three bids from voting machine equipment companies in response to his request for proposals … The secretary of state’s office is considering replacing voting equipment statewide “with a sole-source integrated voting system allowing for automation and full integration between polling place equipment and voter registration system(s),” according to a copy of the request-for-proposal released by Martin’s office. These pieces of equipment would allow voters to mark their ballots on electronic screens or to cast paper ballots. If the project succeeds, the vendor would be responsible for all replacement, installation, training, testing and maintenance no later than March 1, the request-for-proposal states. The maximum expenditure for the project would be $30 million, the secretary of state said.

Delaware: Pew report praises Delaware voter registration, questions voting machines | Delaware Public Media

The Pew Charitable Trust’s examination of 17 areas such as polling station wait times placed Delaware in the top twenty-five percent of states overall when it comes to “election performance” – so says Pew’s manager of election initiatives Zachary Markovitz. “Delaware really is a pioneer leading the states, especially in improving their voter registration system,” said Markovitz. That improvement comes in the form of the “e-signature” program, which the First State implemented in 2009. The initiative lets Delaware residents complete the entire voter registration process at the DMV, instead of having to fill out paperwork, send it in by mail, wait for a response…. and very possibly, and understandably, have something get messed up along the way. The e-signature program was even praised by a task force commissioned by President Obama after the 2012 elections to find ways to improve election performance around the country. Still, Pew’s report found room for improvement in Delaware. Markovitz points to Delaware’s “residual vote rate” — basically, the number of votes cast in an election versus those actually counted. And when those numbers don’t match up, it could imply that some people’s votes are slipping through the cracks. …