Officials Concerned About Paying for Voting Machine Upgrades


LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Local election officials say they are trying to figure out how they will pay for state-mandated upgrades to their voting machines. The governor wants all voting machines to include a paper trail to prevent voter fraud. The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick has the story.

Replacing the Luzerne County’s 850 voting machines will not be cheap.

   “Well the established cost is $4 million dollars for Luzerne County and that’s a big responsibility because we do not schedule that kind of money in the budget.” Said Tim McGingley, Luzerne County Council Chairman.

 So five months down the road – Luzerne County Council Chairman Tim McGinley says the county is still looking for ways to fund that unfunded state mandate.

  “Obviously we are looking for any grant opportunities that are out there. I think the state has an obligation specifically with voting machines to provide some funds.” Noted McGinley.

The discussions about finding that funding was combined this week with the challenge of increasing cyber security for the commonwealth’s voting machines.. Luzerne County officials took part in a three-day training session in Harrisburg. Designed at preventing any possible hacking into the state or county systems.  

“We hope to evaluate how well our plans how to compete, our plans are to see if there are any gaps in terms of our information sharing and where we might be gaps in our plans in the case of an actual incident.”  Said Robert Torres, Acting Secretary of Commonwealth.

So now, on top of finding the money for the new machines, it also must find the money to pay for potential security upgrades.

 “We want to make sure that every single vote counts and make sure that every single person who votes and who wants to vote has that opportunity to vote in Luzerne County.” Added Dave Pedri, Luzerne County Manager.

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