Pennsylvania Department of State went through a process to certify many voting systems to enable individual counties
a selection of choices of voting systems.
Among a listing of other voting systems, Pennsylvania certified two Hart InterCivic voting systems. One, certified
November 18, 2005 is the eSlate while the other, certified January 30, 2006 is the eScan Optical Reader, according to Department
of State's website (Updated on Friday, March 10, 2006 at 2:26 PM)
Lancaster County has provided both voting systems to voters, for a choice.
Published: Mar 18, 2006 11:35 PM EST
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA - They say voters are apathetic
Tell that to the ones who lined up outside the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center at 8:30 a.m., an
hour and a half before the 10 a.m. start of a voting machine demonstration.
And to the hundreds of voters who streamed into the East Hempfield Township center all day Saturday to give the
county’s new eSlate and eScan voting machines a test drive.
The overall verdict: Not bad.
“I found the electronic machine was very easy,” said John Dodson, of Conoy Township, after getting
an explanation of how the eSlate works and taking the time to play with the machine.
His wife, Ruth Dodson, agreed,
and said the eScan, which reads marks on paper ballots, is a good way to keep a paper trail of votes.
it’s a doable thing,” said one poll worker, who asked not to be named; while older people still are likely to
be uncomfortable with a new way of voting, the combination of electronic and paper ballots gives voters a choice of technologies.
a deadline in the 2002 Help America Vote Act, counties across the nation must replace their lever and punch-card machines
before the May 16 primary.
That means it’s curtains for Lancaster County’s lever machines.
commissioners have voted to buy 275 eScan and 275 eSlate machines from Hart InterCivic of Austin, Texas, for about $3.2 million,
with the federal government reimbursing $2.6 million of that.
Voters can choose to fill in a paper ballot, which looks
like a standardized test, and feed it into the eScan to cast a vote, or to mark choices with a selection wheel on the all-electronic
The eSlates are accessible for voters with disabilities. “What I really appreciate about
them is that they’re so sensitive to people with disabilities,” said state Rep. Katie True, R-41st District, who
cast a test vote with her husband, Peter.
No doubt there will be some glitches with any new system, she said, but all
in all, “I think it’s a good system, and I would only be supportive of something that has a paper trail.”
voters wondered whether they’ll still be able to to vote straight party; they were assured both kinds of machines have
the equivalent of the old machines’ straight-party lever...
Chart shows how the two systems eSlate and eScan could be used in county-wide elections.
Here is information about the
Hart InterCivic eScan.
The eScan is a precinct-based, digital ballot-imaging component that relies on the fully integrated functionality
of the Hart Voting System. After marking a paper ballot, the voter feeds it directly into the eScan at the precinct. The ballot
image is stored as a Cast Vote Record on a Mobile Ballot Box flash memory card that can be retrieved and tabulated by Hart’s
Tally application. eScan's capabilities include functionality to reject overvoted, undervoted, and blank ballots, thereby
providing second-chance voting at the precinct.
This display shows the eSlate system which uses Ballot Now for tabulating of absentee ballots.
The foregoing system display showed use of both the eSlate and the eScan, and is very clear on the differences.
Electronic Voting System - eSlateŽ
The eSlate System automates the balloting and tabulation process, eliminating the need to work with multiple paper ballot
styles and offering accuracy, security and efficiency. The components provide central, regional, and precinct tabulation,
as well as complete reporting and auditing, making the eSlate System a comprehensive and integrated election solution.
When we show up at the polling place to cast a ballot, just in case many of us want a paper ballot but are told we have
to use the eSlate (no Voter Verified Paper Trail), I suggest we request a Provisional Ballot. Should the election officials
deny us the use of a paper ballot or the Provisional Ballot, we have an excellent Civil Rights complaint.
Consolidation of voting precincts. What a novel idea. The idea had been proposed then kicked around back in
the mid-90s by then Fayette Commissioner Sean Cavanagh, but unfortunately he didn't lobby hard enough for it among the then
fellow commissioners and the idea went nowhere.
I had thought about this as well for Fayette County, over past years, with the new board of commissioners, but as they
publicly expressed, they aren't interested in consolidating districts.
I believe Norma Ryan, former mayor of Brownsville, ran that idea before the Election Board at a hearing a few months
ago. Maybe I still have that article.
As far as having one handicapped accessible unit in a central location, rather than one for each precinct, another
excellent idea. But then, the manufacturers of the electronic voting devices, even if they are HAVA compliant paper-ballot
optical scan readers, would not sell as many units, would they.
Another reason against it is probably potential voter disenfranchisement, because handicapped persons might not want
go to a central location, different from where non-handicapped voters go.
Now, if all mail balloting were used, and there were clean voter registration rolls around the country, and there
were central located areas which used the paper-ballot with scan readers (optical and/or digital) well there's the solution.
There wouldn't be the potential for voter fraud in the enormous way we have had in the United States.
But all of that is for another day. This is here for your information and my spouting off a bit.
Harrison County residents failed to use costly, federally-mandated voting equipment available for the first time Tuesday,
said Elections Administrator Pam Brock.
The 2006 primaries were the first elections in which Disabled Access Units (DAUs) were in place, but Ms. Brock said she
didn't know of anyone who used them.
"No one mentioned that the handicapped used the equipment," she said. "I had a blind man come to the office here to vote,
but he said he preferred not to use the DAU. His wife assisted him in casting his ballot, as she has always done in the past,"
Ms. Brock said.
The units, mandated by Help Americans Vote Act, must be placed at every polling location on election day, as well as all
early voting locations.
Although units are federally funded, Harrison County consolidated its 29 polling places of previous elections to
Tuesday's 25 in order to minimize the expense.
"The cost for our county was $450,000," Ms. Brock said. "You multiply that by 254 counties in Texas alone, plus, when you
consider this thing is nationwide – that's a great expense.
"I certainly want to make voting easy for the handicapped, but I wonder if it wouldn't have been a better idea
to have a unit available at one centralized location instead of deploying them to every precinct in every county.
Those tax dollars could have been used in other areas." (New equipment for disabled not used; e-scan
presented some problems, Sunday, March 12, 2006)