Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Surplus funds not being used to replace electronic voting machines

At today’s Planning Session, the County Commissioners approved an amendment to Lancaster's agreement with the PA Bureau of Commissions, Elections and Legislation regarding the disbursement of funds from the existing Help American Vote Act (HAVA). The Federal grants were originally slated to last through 2009; however, with the US Congressional Elections approaching in 2010, the County has moved to extend the agreement to June 30, 2011 to employ $34,031 of unused HAVA funds.

Mary Stehman, Chief Clerk of the Registration and Elections Department, explained the remaining funds would be applied toward HAVA-designated services such as polling place accessibility; training of election officials, poll-workers, and election volunteers; and educating voters concerning voting procedures, voting rights, and voting technology.

When asked by NewsLanc whether any of these funds may be used to replace a number of electronic voting machines without verifiable paper trails that were bought used by the former commissioners , Stehman said that the remaining $34,031 is not earmarked for such expenditures. Stehmen noted that such considerations are not yet mandated by law, and would have to be addressed “down the road.”