Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityLuzerne County Council votes to approve new ballot sorting machine | WOLF
Close Alert

Luzerne County Council votes to approve new ballot sorting machine

Mail-in ballot.jpg
Mail-in ballot.jpg
Facebook Share IconTwitter Share IconEmail Share Icon
Comment bubble

Today Luzerne County Council held a special session about the purchase of a new ballot sorting machine with grant money received from the state.

The council voted 6-5 to approve the machine that will be used in the upcoming elections.

Luzerne County approved the purchase of a $490,500 ballot-sorting system made by Runbeck Election Services .

“The process that we're talking about here is not the tabulation of votes, it's not counting the ballots, we're talking about prior to election day, the mail ballot envelopes, the packets that your ballot returns to our office in giving your vote credit to make sure that you know, you can't go to the poll and say I need to vote," said Emily Cook, the operations manager of the Luzerne County Elections Bureau.

Beth McBride the Deputy Director of Elections said this machine will help expediate the results on election night by automating the sorting process.

“It would just improve the bureau process overall. You know, I think the voters of Luzerne County deserve for the bureau of elections to be top tier," said McBride.

McBride said they are currently expecting around 18,000 mail in votes in Luzerne County but that number could increase.

“Purchasing this machine really is the only way we currently bring in employees from the county from other departments. But as you can imagine pulling people away from work right now. It's a tremendous strain on the county's resources, and finding workers right now is difficult too. So for us to just rely on people I think is is going to present a problem for us," said McBride

The machine will be paid for by grant money from the state provided by Act 88.

“We accepted grant funding; we're expected to get all of those mail ballots tabulated by midnight on election night," said McBride.

The move was met with criticism. Some Luzerne County residents voiced their concern about the high price tag like Mark Rabo of Hazleton who believes there should have been a bidding process.

“I'm not opposed to technology. But I think that there should have been more due diligence into other voting systems and sorting systems," said Rabo.

Others questioned the integrity of the results, but the deputy director of elections says they will make them more efficient.

Comment bubble

We’re told the machine needs to be installed by the end of the month so that it's ready for the general election.

Loading ...