New voting machines regulation could strain Union County

LEWISBURG – A mandate by Governor Tom Wolf to upgrade voting machines in all Pennsylvania counties by 2010 could strain one Valley county. The mandate by the governor requires all PA counties to obtain modern voting machines with a voter-verifiable paper ballot or a paper record of votes cast.

Union County Commissioner John Showers says while the county elections department is looking at various equipment and options it could still strain the county financially, “It could cost Union County approximately what it did the last time, which was $500,000 worth of local cash, and then having all 67 counties or a majority of the 67 counties face this mandate at once, will put a strain on companies producing the equipment.”

But whether Pennsylvania actually switches to new voting machines remains a little unclear as its still subject to Wolf’s re-election. If he’s not re-elected, the next governor may not issue the same requirement that there be a ‘paper trail’ after voting.

Showers says if the voting machines are changed to having paper again, it’s something that would benefit the county in the long run, “We thought touch-screen voting was safe. Well today, we have the Russians, we have people who don’t trust their government. So I think a paper trail that a voter can look at and see that ‘yes, that’s how I voted’ gives them reassurance that the election is legitimate.”

Showers address these and other concerns during Tuesday’s commissioners appearance with the League of Women Voters of the Lewisburg Area.


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