Two Pittsburgh College professors today began an examination of reported electronic voting machine problems in Venango County. And while the forensic audit takes place, voters will use paper ballots in the November general election.
After the May primary, the county received complaints from voters who said the touch screen machines did not register their votes correctly, basically flipping the votes to another candidate. Other problems included reports of missing write in votes.
So the election board felt the study was needed, to see if the system is somehow flawed. Right now all 172 touch screen machines are under lock and key in the basement of the county courthouse in Franklin. The audit will focus on the system’s central computer in the coming weeks.
Meantime, the county will spend up to $20,000 to use paper ballots in November, much of the cost to lease a high speed scanner to count the votes. If the audit confirms problems, a permanent switch could be made, with even more costs for the county.
Election Board Chairman Craig Adams said, “What is a vote worth? If the vote is counted it is priceless. If it is not counted, I don’t care what it costs. Let’s get a right.”