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Pennsylvania: Lackawanna County Chooses Paper Ballots PDF  | Print |  Email
By Warren Stewart, Verified Voting Foundation   
March 04, 2008
Reversing an earlier decision to purchase touchscreen voting equipment to replace their decertified AVS WINVote machines, Lackawanna County commissioners have announced that they will purchase a paper ballot optical scan voting system from Election Systems & Software (ES&S).

The county will also purchase AutoMARK Voter Assist Terminals to provide disabled voters with the ability to vote privately and independently. The $1.3 million cost tof the contract will be reimbursed by the state.

Election officials were confident that the equipment would be up and running for Pennsyvania's primary in seven weeks.  "So we do have some logistics to work out but we're confident we can do it. Otherwise we wouldn't have given the commissioners assurance that we can make the switch to this new system," said Director of Elections Maryann Spellman Young, told WNEP.

As recently as two weeks ago, the county commissioners seemed determined to resist public demand for a paper ballot system, having entered into negotiations with Premier Election Solutions (Diebold) for the purchase of touchscreen machines.

Lackawanna County was one of three counties that had used the AVS WINVote. The Election Assistance Commission terminated testing of the WINVote last year after AVS withheld payment to the testing laboratory SysTest. Testing had already uncovered 1946 anomalies in the system's software and dozens of firmware flaws. Pennsylvania decertified the equipment in the Fall. The AVS WINVote is still used in Hinds County, Mississippi and many counties and cities in Virginia.

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