Philly officials work to answer Wolf's call on paperless voting machines

Paul Kurtz
December 12, 2018 - 4:00 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- Voting rights groups in Pennsylvania are applauding the Wolf administration's decision to use voting machines beginning in 2020.

Gov. Tom Wolf has been a staunch advocate of paper ballots but he officially committed to the system as part of a recent out of court settlement with Green Party candidate Jill Stein. She sued Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin for recounts of the 2016 election.

Ben Geffen of the Public Interest Law Center says this is a big step forward for Pennsylvania, one of the last states that still rely heavily on paperless voting.

"So right now Philadelphia, for example, uses push button electronic machines that make no record of the votes cast, other than storing a digital file in a memory chip," he said.

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Pennsylvania will also implement audits of election results beginning in 2022. Currently there's no way to spot check the electronic tallies.

Replacing the current system will cost millions, but Geffen says its money well spent.

"This is the basic infrastructure of our democracy,” he said. “At this point the ball is in the Legislature's court to ensure the funds are appropriated, so that counties can buy the best technology as quickly as possible."