Counties to Replace Voting Machines

EAST BUFFALO TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- There will soon be changes to the way we cast our ballots. By the end of next year, all voting machines in Pennsylvania must be replaced.

But is it really necessary? When voters cast their ballots on Election Day in Union County, they do so with one of these touch-screen machines. But soon, the machines will be different.

According to Pennsylvania's Department of State, by the end of next year, all counties will be required to have a voting system that creates a paper trail for each individual ballot that is cast.

Several counties in our viewing area already use voting machines with paper receipts. Even so, state officials tell Newswatch 16 those machines will still have to be replaced because of outdated software.

"We're waiting for final determinations from the governor, but we are already proactively looking into new election systems," Union County Voter Registration Clerk Kim Zerbe said.

This comes after both Republicans and Democrats made accusations of voter fraud and hacking after recent elections. Union County Voter Registration Clerk Kim Zerbe tells Newswatch 16 while these machines are aging, logic and accuracy testing is done before each election.

"There is nothing that we are fearful of," Zerbe said.

Some voters look forward to the change, saying they will feel more secure with a paper trail of their vote.

"I'm leery with machines. I liked how we used to do it years ago because it felt more accurate for me," Rita Handerahan said.

"There's benefits to that I can see but also it's going to involve a lot of new processes and new monies. I don't know where that's coming from," Bob Mummey said.

Pennsylvania will get nearly $14 million in federal money for the new voting machines, but Zerbe estimates it won't be enough. The new voting machines must be in place statewide in time for the 2020 presidential election.

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