HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Dauphin County commissioners have selected a new voting system just one day before a state-imposed deadline.
The commissioners picked a voting system from vendor Clear Ballot at a special meeting on Monday.
“Our first choice has some legal challenges pending. This system puts us in the best position to not have our votes challenged in the future,” Chief Clerk Chad Saylor said.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf last year began pressing counties to replace their voting machines. Federal authorities had warned Pennsylvania and other states that Russian hackers targeted them during the 2016 presidential election.
Commissioners last month announced Dauphin County would stay with its current election system, but state officials warned the county would lose its share of funding to replace voting systems if new ballot machines were not selected by Dec. 31.
“We should have just made some modifications to our current system, but we were not allowed to,” Commissioner Jeff Haste said. “We will have a lot of confused voters next year among our older population, and some may even feel intimidated by the new system.”
“This decision was forced on us without any input whatsoever, without any forewarning that it was coming. It will be an expense to us, and it will be a huge change for voters in a very busy election year,” Saylor said. “The timing is not good.”
County officials said the current voting system is reliable and secure but does not produce a paper record after each vote is cast as required by the state.
The old voting systems will be used for a special election next month.
State officials have said all old voting systems will be decertified before the April primary.