House panel holds hearing on election security

Election

The House State Government Committee held a hearing Monday to discuss lingering issues with Pennsylvania’s election system.

Committee chair Daryl Metcalfe raised concerns about non-citizens being able to vote after the Department of State found that thousands of potential non-citizens… were registered due to a technical glitch.

“All of the talk about Russia’s interference with our elections. there’s real interference with our elections by foreign nationals in the state of Pennsylvania and those foreign nationals are here legally, but registering illegally,” Metcalfe said.

In 2016, Pennsylvania was one of 21 states targeted by Russian hackers. Despite that, Dauphin County Bureau of Elections director Jerry Feaser says he’s confident in the current system’s security.

“It’s offline. None of the election systems that actually record the official results are connected to the internet in any way, so, they’re very secure,” Feaser said.

Feaser does have a problem with Gov. Tom Wolf’s order that all 67 counties replace their current voting machines with ones that can produce a paper trail by the end of next year.

“There’s only one system that’s been certified for use,” he said. “There’s no funding that’s been provided. So, there’s a lot of questions, a lot of issues.”

Maj. Christine Pierce of the Pennsylvania National Guard says replacing those machines is a top priority. Her team has been working with state and county officials to run tests and make sure the state’s election system is secure.

“I have no doubt as a voter that I’m secure in going to the polls and casting my vote,” she said.

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