With the 2017 elections behind us, the time has come to shift focus to ensuring that future elections in Pennsylvania are secure and reliable. The 2018 cycle will include two statewide campaigns, plus congressional races. The entire House and half the Senate face re-election.
Election reform doesn’t happen overnight. Legislators need to get to work before the May primary and move quickly to protect the integrity of these elections.
The single most important thing the General Assembly can do is to help all 67 counties buy new, modern and secure voting machines to replace those that are now almost 20 years old, and to support and finance the implementation of improvements such as electronic poll books and updates to database technology.
Even though Pennsylvania’s election system works well for many voters, some qualified registrants still face challenges in casting a ballot, like seniors, veterans, voters with disabilities and working people. There are steps we can take right now, like offering optional vote-by-mail, to ensure that eligible voters can have their voices heard.
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For many in Pennsylvania, trust has been shaken in our election process. Many of their concerns are the product of an out-of-date voting system. Updating technology is the best way to strengthen that system and guarantee the integrity of the election process.
Ray Murphy, Philadelphia
The writer is state coordinator for Keystone Votes.