HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania’s elected auditor says officials in 18 of the 67 counties reported accepting gifts, meals or trips from firms competing to sell new voting machines ahead of the 2020 elections.
Democratic Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Friday that accepting the gifts is wrong, even if officials took no action in return.
DePasquale says the gifts included expense-paid travel to destinations including Las Vegas, tickets to a wine festival and distillery tour, dinners at high-end restaurants, tickets to an amusement park and an open bar at a conference for elections officials.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is pressing counties to buy voting machines with voter-auditable paper backups ahead of the 2020 election.
That’s after federal authorities said Russian hackers targeted at least 21 states during 2016’s presidential election, including Pennsylvania.