New Paper Ballots to be used in Monroe County
As part of the move to state-wide voting systems with verifiable paper trails by 2020, Monroe County will be using a new paper ballot system beginning with the November 5 General Municipal Election. The change is the result of a settlement of a 2016 lawsuit against several states brought by Green Party candidate Jill Green. The suit claimed that the state election systems were susceptible to hacking and effectively prevented recounts by not providing a verifiable paper record. Pennsylvania counties were provided with a choice of several systems. Monroe County was one of only two counties which selected the ClearCast paper ballot system manufactured by the Boston company, "Clear Ballot". Greg Christine, administrator for Monroe County, explained that the County Commissioners liked the Clear Ballot product for it's perceived simplicity. “I think our voters are going to understand it,” Christine said. The cost to outfit the County voting wards with the new units was a $763,000. The County's per voter cost of $7.12 was significantly less than the state average of $12.32 per voter for counties which also selected a hand-marked paper ballot system. Voters in Mount Pocono will receive a paper ballot (click to see the official sample ballot) and a pen to fill in their choices. They will then insert their completed ballot into a scanner, which records the vote in a couple of seconds. The County elections officials have posted this video of the process. Although the change was not required until the 2020 Presidential election, Monroe County officials wanted to implement it this year so that voters and election officials would have experience with the new system before the larger turnout for the federal election next year.
Voters have until Monday, October 7 to register to vote for the November 5 election. More VOTER REGISTRATION INFORMATION here.