WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — We’re less than a month away from the November general election.
The Luzerne County Bureau of Elections is testing their voting machines this week. The testing is open to the public, but some question the amount of transparency going on inside the building.
Hundreds of Luzerne County’s voting machines and tabulators are being tested, cleaned and prepped ahead of the November 2nd general election.
The Luzerne County Election Bureau is working with Dominion Voting. The testing is open to the public at 135 Water Street in Wilkes-Barre all week long. It’s something Luzerne County councilman Walter Griffith is glad to see.
“I applaud the administration for actually having this public thing for the whole week where members of the public can come in and check the machines,” Griffith said.
But some may argue about the amount of transparency inside.
Eyewitness News has been told no cameras are allowed inside the building whether it’s ours or the public. Inside the building there is a restricted area for the public to view the testing of more than 700 voting machines
Bob Morgan, the Luzerne County Elections Director says the Bureau of Elections Administration made the decision to not allow cameras inside, even in the public viewing area.
“There are requirements within the state regulations that don’t allow recording of that and that was the reason for it,” Morgan said.
“The problem that I have is when you get here, they have a fence in front and it restricts people from going in and out and actually seeing what they are actually doing right in front of the machine,” Griffith said.
Morgan told the public Monday morning about 50 percent of the machines and 20 percent of the tabulators could be seen from the public viewing area.
“They have what I think is an ample viewing area,” Morgan said.
But Griffith says you can’t see enough of what’s going on from that space.
“We should have full transparency because of the process we had at the last election and the apprehensiveness of the voter that says ‘well gee whiz we can’t trust these machines’,” Griffith said.
“I think the administration has indicated the extreme need for transparency,” Morgan said.
Morgan told Eyewitness News restricted area is for the public’s safety.
“They are in a restricted area because we are dealing with live equipment and for safety reasons, but we want to make sure people have the opportunity to see what’s going on and that creates a greater trust,” Morgan said.
Morgan resigned as Luzerne County Elections Director last week. His final day is this Friday. There will be a public demonstration of the voting machines Friday at 3 p.m.
Also, applications for mail-in or absentee ballots must be received by
your county election board by October 26th.