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Give your vote on how county votes
An event later this month will help officials pick new voting machines.
By TERESA ANN BOECKEL    York Daily Record/Sunday News
Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Voters will be able to try out a variety of electronic voting machines later this month to help York County election officials decide which one to buy.

The county must have an agreement with a vendor by Jan. 1, and voters will be choosing candidates on the new system by the 2006 primary.

However, local officials are still waiting for the state to approve which machines meet Pennsylvania election code. So far, the state has denied two, and one has been approved with restrictions, according to the Department of State's Web site.

While waiting for a decision, the York County Elections Board has invited 10 voting machine manufacturers to demonstrate their wares to the public on Nov. 19 at the York Expo Center.

"Unfortunately we're running out of time here so we can't wait for the state," said Dale Dalton, technical coordinator with the elections office.

Election officials will ask voters to evaluate the machines, such as whether they are easy to see and understand, Dalton said.

In the end, though, officials will have to choose a voting machine that meets state approval.

Brian McDonald, a spokesman for the Department of State, said he expects decisions to be made soon. The state is still waiting for federal officials to OK some of the machines.

It is estimated that the new machines will cost York County about $4 million, and it is expected that they will be used for 30 to 40 years.

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