Philly officials look to make changes to county voting system

Justin Udo
January 10, 2019 - 8:27 pm
Philadelphia needs new voting machines, and they need them fast. But before officials settle on a new device, they are asking for the public's input.

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia needs new voting machines, and they need them fast. But before officials settle on a new device, they are asking for the public's input. 

Gov. Tom Wolf wants every county throughout the state to purchase a voting system with a verifiable paper trail, and officials in Philadelphia want their system to be in place by year's end.

"Security experts say that the best kind of machine is something that is air gapped from the Internet. They found that hand marked paper ballots are the best and that's because there's very little technology between the voter and the actual vote," said Tim Brown, who joined a dozen other Philadelphians Thursday to give their suggestions on what they want from a new voting system at a Philadelphia City Commissioners' comment session.    

Brown says when it comes to replacing the city's aging voting machines that have been around since 2002, he wants something as simple, secure and as efficient as possible.

"We're really concerned about hacking. It's been demonstrated umpteen times by technical professionals that you can actually hack some of these machines, and in a quick amount of time. So we want to avoid that, and we find the best way to do that is to do hand marked paper ballots," he said. 

Brown says whatever system the city settles on, they want to make sure poll workers are properly trained on how to handle the machines if they run into a problem. 

"We need to spend more time making sure that election day runs as smoothly as possible," he added. 

The commissioners will hold another public comment session Saturday, Jan. 12, at 9:30 a.m. at 520 N. Columbus Blvd., 6th floor.