Luzerne County debuts new electronic voting system prior to the election

Local News

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The election is 48 days away and counting.

This week, the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections is giving voters a chance to try out the county’s new electronic voting system.

There will be some big changes in the way people cast their vote here in Pennsylvania, but Joyce Dombroski-Gebhardt, from the Board of Elections, told Eyewitness News “they’re very user friendly.”

A state mandate required all 67 counties in the commonwealth to upgrade their electronic voting machines to include a paper trail. This is to ensure the integrity of the results.

“It’s across the entire state that their has to be a paper trail of your voting so that was the big mandate. It didn’t say there had to be touch screens there had to be a paper trail,” said Keith Gould, Board of Elections.

The new machines will change the process inside the polling places.

“The registered voters that we have been demonstrating these machines and the system to have picked up rather quickly on them,” said Dombroski-Gebhardt.

People will make their selection on a computer screen.

Once you make your selection, there is another step in the process.

“On these machines you have to print your ballot,” said Gould. “Then you’ll walk it across and just stick it into the scanner and that’s the new step taking the paper and walking it to a scanner.”

Eyewitness News asked about the security of these machines, as in if an the electronic tabulation could be altered somehow, or if the paper ballots tampered with.

“First of all when you sign in at the poll book a poll worker is given this card to activate this machine for you, there is no connection or any connectivity to the internet with these machines I think that’s what people are most concerned about. They’re autonomous.”

You can check out the new machines in person on Thursday, September 17, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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