Marian K. Schneider: “Election security is a nonpartisan issue and the goal of hardening our voting systems against potential threats is shared across the aisle.”
The following is a statement from Marian K. Schneider, president of Verified Voting, formerly Deputy Secretary for Elections and Administration in the Pennsylvania Department of State, following the press conference with Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer this morning in Harrisburg, PA. Lt. Col. Shaffer also testified during the Senate Committee on State Government Hearing on Senate Bill 48 this morning.
“Verified Voting applauds Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer’s testimony this morning urging Pennsylvania to replace all paperless DREs and for underscoring that this is a cybersecurity threat that needs to be addressed. The Pennsylvania legislature needs to appropriate additional funding to reimburse counties for the cost of replacing aging and vulnerable electronic voting machines with ones that have a voter-marked paper ballot of votes cast before the 2020 election.
“The cost for replacing that equipment could reach $150 million, yet Gov. Tom Wolf’s budget only asks for $15 million for this year and an additional $15 million each year for the next four years. As Lt. Col. Shaffer and a number of House Republicans demonstrated today, election security is a nonpartisan issue and the goal of hardening our voting systems against potential threats is shared across the aisle. Access to adequate funds is what is needed to meet that goal. The need for replacement is urgent: without voting systems that retain a voter-marked paper ballot for recounts and audits, Pennsylvania’s elections will be dogged by legitimacy questions and will be the easiest targets for motivated attackers.
“Verified Voting also urges the Pennsylvania Department of State to insist that all newly-certified voting systems include the most secure features and will be ready for robust post-election tabulation audits. Given the threat of hacking and other cyberattacks, the cost of replacing Pennsylvania’s current systems in 50 counties far outweighs the cost of leaving our elections vulnerable.”