Bucks County voters will have new voting machines, complete with paper trails, for the upcoming primary elections in 2020.
The Board of Elections voted 2-1 to approve the $5.2 million cost. New machines will come from Clear Ballot Group, Inc. in Boston.
Comprised of the three county commissioners, the Board of Elections has spent Commissioner Chairman Rob Loughery and Commissioner Diane Ellis-Marseglia voted in tandem.
“There’s been a lot of work done on this, and we’ve all taken a tremendous amount of time over the past year looking at this,” Loughery said.
The sole dissenting vote came from Commissioner Charles Martin. Martin wanted to adopt machines from ES&S XL. Bucks has used the provider in the past and most other counties have opted to use them as well.
As for Clear Ballot, the system uses ballots filled out by hand. Voters feed the ballot into a scanner, which then goes into a ballot bag. The scanner will take an image of each ballot, then calculate a result.
After polls close, each ballot cast in Bucks County will then be taken to the Board of Elections office in Doylestown. Clear Ballot’s system also makes accommodations for the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The Clear Ballot system also provides a ballot marking device for each polling place for voters who require ADA provisions. The ballot marking device prints a ballot identical to those provided to non-ADA voters at the polling place before it is fed into a scanner,” a statement from the county reads.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will supplement the $5.2 million cost, though the specific amount is still unknown.