Officials work to correct a statewide election glitch ahead of voting in November

Local News

There are just three weeks to go until voters here in Pennsylvania head to the polls.  But, one of the big concerns heading into Election Day is whether or not your vote is secure.

On Monday, the House State Government Committee met to discuss lingering issues with the state’s election system, Committee Chair Daryl Metcalf raising concerns about non-citizens being able to vote after the Department of State found that thousands of potential non-citizens were registered due to a technical glitch. 

Metcalfe says, “All of the talk about Russia’s interference with our elections. There’s real interference with our elections by foreign nationals in the state of Pennsylvania. And those foreign nationals are here legally, but registering illegally.”

In 2016, Pennsylvania was one of 21 states targeted by Russian hackers.  Despite that, Director of Dauphin County’s Bureau of Elections, Gerry Feaser, says he’s confident in the current system’s security.  “It’s offline. None of the election systems that actually record the official results are connected to the internet in any way. So, they’re very secure.”

But, he does have a problem with the governor asking all 67 counties to replace their current machines with ones that can produce a paper trail by the end of next year. “But, there’s only one system that’s been certified for use. There’s no funding that’s been provided. So, there’s a lot of questions, a lot of issues.”

Major Christine Pierce, with the Pennsylvania National Guard, says, “anything that’s outdated… If we have a computer system that’s a Windows XP system, they’re just more vulnerable.”

Pierce also says replacing those machines is a top priority.  Her team has been working with state and county officials to run tests and make sure the state’s election system is secure. “I have no doubt as a voter, that I’m secure in going to the polls and casting my vote.”

–Matt Heckel, Jet 24 Action News

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