Paper ballots coming back to PA; a look at the voting technology

CARLISLE, CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. -- People in Cumberland County got a look at the newest voting technology coming to Pennsylvania.

The new tech is in an effort to make the voting process more secure.

Earlier this year, state officials required counties replace current systems with ones that that leave behind a paper trail.

State officials say a paper trail better protects your votes, but some voters have their reservations.

A paper trail might seem a bit outdated to some voters casting their ballots in Pennsylvania, but when there's a tight race, state officials believe paper comes in handy.

"Just look at the experience of some of our counties here in Pennsylvania. Chester, Adams Counties both have had very close legislative races within the last few years, and it's been necessary to do recounts, and having paper ballots I think, gives people an extra level of confidence," said Jonathan Marks with the Pa. Department of State.

Some voters think a paper trail brings that extra level of confidence.

"We depend on having valid elections in a democracy, and everybody should feel real comfortable that part is being taken care of," said Patricia Keough of Carlisle.

Officials looked to make others as comfortable as Keough, holding 5 expos including one at Dickinson College in Carlisle.

"I really want, if these things are implemented, that they really search on how the commodities will be for all types of people and the votes being registered are clean and corruption free, I think everybody wants that," said Paula Lewis of Carlisle.

As for how it will work once in place, voters will still cast their ballots electronically on a smart device... only after, a paper ballot will be printed then scanned into a locked box. Only election officials will have a key to those boxes.

"You know, it's another redundancy in the process. If you have to go all the way back and do a hand count of paper ballots, you have the ability to do that," explained Marks. "If voters lose confidence in a system and decided they're not going to show up because they've lost confidence, I don't think you can put a price tag on that."

Each of Pennsylvania's 67 counties will have to buy both federally and state approved voting machines by 2020.

For more information, click here. 

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