Philadelphia is getting new voting machines for the first time in 20 years. In 2018, Governor Tom Wolf ordered new machines after anxiety about whether Russia meddled in the 2016 elections. The new model is the ExpressVote XL from Election Systems and Software (ES&S).
Senator Anthony H. Williams has arranged for a sample machine or two to be at Southwest CDC’s offices on Monday, October 7, 2019 between 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. so voters can stop in and practice voting. This demonstration and others around the City will help keep wait times shorter for voters on Election Day, November 5th .
There’s been a couple of controversies over the new machines. City officials selected the machines with no public input. There are concerns that the machine manufacturers had not disclosed that they had contributed to two City Commissioners’ campaigns. And just this week, Jill Stein, a 2016 Green party presidential candidate stated that the new machines violated a settlement she had with the State. She is claiming that the new machines, which need to be auditable, are not completely auditable because it uses bar codes.
“There’s no way that a voter can actually look at a bar code and know what vote is being counted,” Stein told the city’s acting board of elections Wednesday morning at a public meeting.
Despite the controversies, the City will roll out the new machines on Election Day.