Franklin County Commissioners: New voting machines will be ready in time for 2020 elections

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FRANKLIN COUNTY — Franklin County Commissioners approved a recommendation from the Franklin County Election Board to purchase new election equipment from Election Systems and Software LLC.

“We have felt all along that our election equipment is safe, secure, and capable. However, we are still obligated to replace it,” said Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller, referring to a state mandate that all counties must upgrade their election equipment before the 2020 primary election or face having their equipment decertified and votes voided.

Franklin County Election Board held a public hearing in April to discuss the state requirement and associated costs. Since then, Governor Wolf has committed to helping Pennsylvania counties fund these purchases.

The voting process on the new machines will be familiar. “Voters of Franklin County will not see a significant change,” said Commissioner Bob Thomas.  “However, there will be improvements, especially with the ADA voting machine and the tabulation of write-ins is expected to be easier for pollworkers using the new equipment,” he added.

The cost of the new voting equipment is $764,364. A federal Help America Vote Act Election Security grant for $152,626 will leave Franklin County residents with a balance of $611,000. The state intends to reimburse 60 percent of the cost.

“We appreciate the work put into this well thought out recommendation,” said Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski.

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