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New Voting Systems

Why does Pennsylvania need new voting systems?

The current voting systems in Pennsylvania are approaching the end of their useful life. Most of the voting machines in use now are older than the first iPhone. Their software and hardware will soon be unsupported by manufacturers.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has called on all state and local election officials to make certain that by the 2020 presidential election every American votes on a system that produces a paper record or ballot that can be checked and verified by the voter and audited by election officials.

New machines will ensure that Pennsylvanians are voting on the most secure and accessible voting systems available and that audits of election results can be easily and accurately accomplished.

When is Pennsylvania getting new voting machines?

In April 2018, the Department informed counties they must select new voting systems that provide a paper record and meet 21st-century standards of security, auditability and accessibility no later than Dec. 31, 2019, and preferably have a system in place by the November 2019 general election.

So far, 51 of the commonwealth’s 67 counties, including the three most populous —Philadelphia, Allegheny and Montgomery — have voted to either buy or lease a new voting system, or have approved funding for such a system. And 46 counties, or 68 percent, plan to use their new voting systems in the November 5, 2019 election.  The remainder of the counties are continuing to explore their voting system options, examine machines, and seek public input as well as quotes from vendors.  

Status of new voting system certification

Any voting system selected by a county must be certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and the Pennsylvania secretary of state. The EAC and the Pennsylvania Department of State evaluate voting systems under current federal and state standards. Pennsylvania has developed new standards of security and accessibility that manufacturers must meet to achieve state certification. The Department has a list of all certified voting systems and electronic poll books at https://www.dos.pa.gov/VotingElections/OtherServicesEvents/Pages/Voting-Systems.aspx 

Electronic Voting Systems Certified after January 1, 2018

Learn more about the new voting systems that produce a paper record and offer upgraded security and accessibility. Find instructions, testing documentation, videos and more: