HARRISBURG, Pa., May 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar has certified a sixth new voting system that provides a paper record so voters can verify their choices before casting the ballot and audits can confirm the accuracy of election results.
Secretary Boockvar certified the Hart InterCivic Verity Voting 2.3.3 on May 7. State and federal certifications allow procurement of the system by any Pennsylvania county.
"Pennsylvania counties now have a sixth option from which to choose as they upgrade to new voting systems with state-of-the-art security, accessibility and auditability features, as well as a paper record voters can review and verify," Secretary Boockvar said. "County officials have shown strong leadership and careful diligence in their selection process. We are pleased to offer them an additional choice."
Within the last year, the Department of State has also certified the:
- Unisyn Voting Solutions OpenElect 220.127.116.11A
- Unisyn Voting Solutions OpenElect 2.0A2
- ES&S EVS 18.104.22.168
- Dominion Voting Systems Inc. Democracy Suite 5.5-A
- Clear Ballot ClearVote 1.5.
So far, at least 29 counties, or 43 percent, have taken official action toward acquiring new voting systems, either through a vote to purchase or lease a system, or a vote to approve funding. At least 52 counties, or about 78 percent, have reported plans to implement new systems by 2020.
Nine counties expect to be using new voting systems in the May 21 primary. Those that will be implementing new systems for the first time are Bradford, Centre, Crawford, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Montgomery, and Pike counties. Susquehanna County rolled out its new system for the November 2018 general election.
Nationwide, there is bipartisan and near universal agreement that, in the interest of security, Direct Recording Electronic voting machines (DREs), still in use in most Pennsylvania counties, should be replaced, and all voters should be voting on paper ballots they can verify. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Senate and House Intelligence Committees, and many experts are urging states to switch to new systems that produce paper records.
In April 2018, the Department of State informed counties they have until the end of 2019 to select new voting systems that provide a paper record. The new systems are to be in use no later than the 2020 primary, and preferably by the November 2019 general election. These new systems all have paper trails allowing for more accurate and reliable post-election audits. Counties have their choice from among any of these six voting systems that have attained both federal and state certification.
In Pennsylvania, every voting system and paper ballot must include plain text that voters can read to verify their choices before casting their ballot. Election officials will also use the plain text to perform pre-election testing and post-election audits and recounts.
Governor Wolf is seeking state funding for at least half of the counties' cost for new voting systems. He is working with the General Assembly to develop specific proposals for state funding and financing.
The governor has already committed $14.15 million in federal and state funding to counties for the new voting systems.
Counties can use a statewide purchasing contract to cut through red tape and negotiate the best deal with voting system vendors. The department also is investigating and pursuing other funding options, including additional federal aid.
MEDIA CONTACT: Wanda Murren, 717-783-1621
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of State