County officials fret about Governor Wolf's proposal for voting upgrade money

Tony Romeo
February 10, 2019 - 4:00 am
Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf speaks after taking the oath for his second term.Gov. Wolf speaks after taking oath for 2nd term

Tony Romeo/KYW Newsradio

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- County officials are expressing reservations about Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's proposal to help fund a mandated upgrade of the state's voting systems. 

Counties will have to select voting machines with a paper trail by the end of the year. In his budget proposal, Governor Wolf wants the state to contribute $75 million, $15 million a year for five years. But the head of the state County Commissioners Association says spreading the payments out that way could create a cash-flow issue for counties facing up-front costs. 

Wolf spokesman J.J. Abbott counters that a number of approved voting machine vendors have already agreed to provide financing options.

“There is an option, at least, for counties not to be hit with a one-time upgrade cost," Abbott said.

Meanwhile, the County Commissioners Association director says that while state funds are intended to cover at least half of the cost to counties, every dollar not reimbursed by the state or feds will be a property tax dollar.