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Last Call for Allegheny's Current Voting Machines

Countywide turnout at 29 percent, officials say

By Staff Reports
The Tube City Almanac
November 06, 2019
Posted in: Politics & Elections

Across the Mon-Yough area, few polling places reported any serious problems on Tuesday, during what is expected to be the last hurrah for Allegheny County's current voting machines.

About 29 percent of the county's registered voters cast ballots, according to the Elections Division.

Spokeswoman Amie Downs said problems at Allegheny County's more than 1,300 polling places were generally minor. Polling hours are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Locally, a polling place on Maplewood Street in McKeesport's 12th Ward reported opening late --- about 8:30 a.m. --- after the judge of elections had car trouble, Downs said. In West Mifflin, voters at Lebanon Presbyterian Church reported that the judge of elections did not arrive until 7:10 a.m. and voting did not begin until 7:20 a.m.

Although no voters were turned away, Downs said some voters may have left without casting ballots.

The county's election return board will be sworn in Friday and begin reviewing the ballots before results are certified. Downs said the process is open to the public and will take place in Room 601 of the County Office Building, downtown Pittsburgh.

Unofficial election results are available on the county’s website at electionresults.alleghenycounty.us.

Tuesday's election is scheduled to be the last call for the county's iVotronic touch-screen electronic voting machines, which replaced the county's old mechanical lever-operated machines in 2006.

New voting machines supplied by Election Systems & Software are expected to be in place for the 2020 primary on April 28, Downs said.

Turnout in that election is expected to be heavy. Voters will be choosing presidential candidates as well as congressional representatives and state legislators.

Officials selected the ES&S ExpressVote XL machines after the Board of Elections determined the company was the only vendor that would be able to provide an adequate supply of machines to serve the county's 130 municipalities and 43 school districts.

ExpressVote uses a touch-screen to let voters mark their paper ballots, which are then scanned and tallied. The paper ballots are designed to provide a system for auditing the results in the event of a close election.

The cost of replacing the machines has been estimated at $10.5 million. The county's existing iVotronic voting machines do not provide a paper record in the event of a recount, and security experts have said they are obsolete and vulnerable to hacking.

Originally published November 06, 2019.

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