DelCo holding forum on new voting system

Delaware County residents are invited to discuss the five new proposed voting systems during a public forum on July 9 at 4 p.m. in the Delaware County Council Public Meeting Room (201 West Front St., Media, PA.)

The public forum, hosted by the County’s Board of Elections and Delaware County Council, is being held to allow for the public’s input on five new proposed voting systems.

In April 2018, the Pennsylvania Department of State notified all counties of a December 30, 2019 deadline to select a new voting system that provides a voter-verified paper record. The new systems are to be in use no later than the 2020 primary election. The directive requires counties to use machines that have a paper trail that can be verified by voters and audited.

The County’s Board of Elections, Delaware County Council and the County’s Executive Director began researching new voting systems in 2017 to identify systems that would have to meet the new federal and state requirements. In Pennsylvania, every voting system and paper ballot must include plain text that voters can read to verify their choices before casting their ballot. Election officials will also use the plain text to perform pre-election testing and post-election audits and recounts.

There are five systems, certified by the federal and state governments which provide a voter-verified paper record: Clear Ballot, Dominion Voting, ES&S Election Systems & Software, HART Intercivic, and Unisyn.

Each of the systems was displayed at a public demonstration on June 6, allowing residents to learn more about each system and to also test the machines. Representatives from each of the five companies were on hand to answer questions and a survey was available to assess the community’s feedback.

Delaware County plans to have a contract in place with a vendor by the last quarter of 2019.

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