HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The state of Pennsylvania started the process Monday to ensure a more secure voting system in the Commonwealth.

The Pennsylvania Department of State issued an Invitation for Bid (IFB) to voting system firms hoping to upgrade voting machines with a paper record of ballots cast.

The move comes in the wake of concerns of Russian meddling in votes case in the 2016 Presidential election.

“The IFB marks the beginning of the commonwealth’s transition to state-of-the-art voting equipment,” said Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres in announcing the bids. “The new requirements will ensure that our voting systems will provide enhanced standards of resiliency, auditability, and security for Pennsylvania citizens.”

The announcement requires increased documentation, security and reporting capabilities, and follows a directive sent to counties that all voting systems purchased after February 9, 2018 must employ a voter-verifiable paper ballot.

Douglas Hill, the executive director of the County Commissioners Association says “(t)oday’s announcement gives counties guidance they need to prepare to replace voting equipment.”

In it’s announcement, the department is telling vendors they should not plan to renew contracts in 2019, but should move to the updated systems and agreements.