Clock ticking as Dauphin County mulls new voting machines

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Dauphin County Chief Clerk Chad Saylor will present a final recommendation for a new voting system to the commissioners at a special meeting on Dec. 30, one day before their deadline.

One of the most popular systems voters chose during a summer preview session has two pending lawsuits due to how paper ballots are marked. Saylor says that particular system is not on the shortlist.

“It is not worth the risk,” he said. “We don’t want to move forward with a system and then at some point have to deal with legal concerns.”​

York County officials had issues with their new voting system in November which included paper ballot scanning issues.

Saylor says they’re not considering that system either, but learned from the problems in York to have more ballot scanners at polling places with high turnout.

“We took a look at the scanners that were used in York County and if we move forward, we will use a different scanner that will have better performance,” he said.

Saylor anticipates using the week to pick one system to recommend. Commissioners will then have one day to decide or face legal action from state officials. ​

“The state has told us that they know actual contracts take time for things to work out,” Saylor said. “As long as the county has a vote indicating that they are going to move forward with a new system, we would qualify for funding assistance.”​

The impending meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on the fourth floor of the county administration building.​

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