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State Hosting Expo on New Voting Systems

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Patrick Christmas | 267-940-4503 | pchristmas@seventy.org

State Hosting Expo on New Voting Systems
Citizens, advocates and media encouraged to visit the expo in Doylestown

PHILADELPHIA, PA (December 12, 2018) – The last of five voting system expos hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of State will take place in Doylestown this Thursday, December 13.

The Better Philadelphia Elections Coalition encourages local media, voting rights advocates and the general public to attend and learn about prospective voting systems that could be installed in their county. According to the Department, attendees will be welcome to observe voting machine demonstrations and ask questions of voting system vendors and state officials.

The need to replace voting equipment in jurisdictions currently lacking a voter-verifiable paper record, which includes Philadelphia, is urgent and a major security concern ahead of the 2020 presidential elections. Four in five Pennsylvania voters currently cast ballots on electronicrecording machines that lack a verifiable ballot and, consequently, the ability to conduct a proper recount due to a close election, machine malfunctions or tampering. New machines should also feature significant enhancements in voter accessibility, an ongoing challenge for many voters in the city and across the Commonwealth.

The PA Secretary of State has ordered all counties to install new machines that meet higher security, auditability and accessibility standards by the end of 2019. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania’s Election Security issued interim recommendations in September supporting this directive, consistent with the consensus among other security experts that installing new, secure voting systems before 2020 is an important step in protecting American democracy and voters’ faith in election results.

Funding for new voting systems remains a critical and outstanding issue, as estimates for the statewide cost average between $110 and $125 million. Negotiations between the Wolf Better Philadelphia Elections Coalition administration and legislative leaders have covered a possible cost-sharing arrangement between the state and counties. The City of Philadelphia has reportedly allocated $22 million for new machines.

The Doylestown-Area New Voting System Expo will be held at the Bucks County Administration Building (55 East Court St.) from 4 to 8 PM on Thursday, December 13. No registration is required.

All media are welcome to attend. Wanda Murren, Director of Communications and Press for the Department of State, is the press contact. She can be reached at wmurren@pa.gov or (717) 787-7854 (o).

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