WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — New year, old business in Luzerne County government. Election board members voted on making some changes after a tumultuous election cycle and lots of criticism.
The District Attorney’s Office is investigating the ballot paper shortage that plagued polling places on election day.
While many questions still remain unanswered, election board members discussed what could be done to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
The Luzerne County Board of Elections and Registration gathered for a public meeting at the courthouse Wednesday night.
By a unanimous decision, board members passed a motion to review current security on voting machines and machine enclosures to ensure they can’t be tampered with.
“Ever since the paper debacle, paper gate, whatever you want to call it, ever since that issue, we have not put into effect something that would protect this.,” said Alyssa Fusaro, a Luzerne County Board of Elections Member.
Deputy Election Director Beth Gilbert McBride and Administrative Services Head Jennifer Pecora attended the meeting.
They explained what security procedures are currently in place.
“We load the scanners, check the paper for the printouts, the bags go underneath, seals are put in the proper places with barcodes on them. The ballot marking devices; supplies are checked, lids are sealed, the backs are sealed, the fronts are sealed with the secure tags with the barcodes and the scanners. So they’re sealed, there is a checklist,” said Pecora.
Board members clarified how those handling the voting machines have to sign their names.
“I do like the idea of a sign-off checklist by the people completing and it sounds like from what the bureau leadership just said that this is in place,” said Luzerne County Board of Elections Chair Denise Williams.
Members of the public took to the podium to voice their concerns.
“I think procedures should be your number one priority, and again, I don’t know where the original manual is, but it seems like you don’t need to be wasting more time on creating a manual. People need to be following the manual and handling the election properly,” said Robin Coshan of Dallas Township.
A motion was also passed to create bylaws for the Luzerne County Board of Elections and Registration and form a bylaw committee made up of three board members.