Concerns raised over security of new voting machines

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POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Intelligence agencies are raising concerns about the integrity and security of some new, high-tech voting machines that are being used in Pennsylvania and across the nation.

Pottsville, like the rest of the Commonwealth, was mandated by state government to replace voting machines with newer machines, that provide a paper ballot as a receipt. Now, there is concern that some of those machines could be vulnerable to hackers and even software issues that could give false election results.

Chairman of the Schuylkill County Commissioners, George Halcovage, insisted he and the county election bureau have ensured that the election results cannot be compromised.

“We believe what we have right now is going to provide what we want because the most important thing we want is integrity in our voting system,” Halcovage told Eyewitness News.

Halcovage says that the new machines are not connected to the internet which reduces the risk of hacking.

Eyewitness News reached out to the Elections Systems and Software Company (ES&S) based in Nebraska for comment. The company has been contracted by many Pennsylvania counties to provide the new electronic voting machines.

“Voters can be assured their selections will be counted as cast by looking at and verifying the human-readable text on their paper ballots,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement. “A voter-verified paper record allows jurisdictions to perform statistically valid post-election audits.”

However, there is concern that despite the name of your selection being correct on the ballot, the bar code printed on the paper receipt may provide a different selection.

The spokesperson for ES&S says safeguards have been built into the system to prevent any type of problem.

Click here to see what voting machines are being used in your county.

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