Make Allegheny County’s Voting Machines Secure for 2020!

Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh is embarking on an effort to urge our County Election Officials to procure new voting machines and put new security procedures in place for the 2019 elections. This will serve as a sort of test run so that there is time to ensure that everything works well for the 2020 election. The Post-Gazette recently ran an article describing a joint University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon study that strongly recommends that the state of Pennsylvania purchase new voting machines that can provide an auditable paper trail.

We are kicking off a letter-writing campaign to our Allegheny County elected officials, and we’d love it if you would join us in the effort. Below you will find contact information for the three members of the County Elections Committee, as well as instructions on how to find your county representative’s contact information. We have included sample email or letter text below, which you could copy and paste and send to your elected officials. We hope you join us in this local effort to make our elections more secure and more democratic!

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald
436 Grant Street
Room 101
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
executive@alleghenycounty.us

Samuel DeMarco III
County Council Member-At-Large
436 Grant Street
Room 119
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
samuel.demarco@alleghenycounty.us

John DeFazio
County Council Member-At-Large
436 Grant Street
Room 119
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
john.defazio@alleghenycounty.us

Suggested text of email or letter:

I am deeply concerned about the insecurity of my county's voting system as indicated in the recent report of the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission on Pennsylvania Election Security.

Allegheny County's voting system is among the worst in the nation; we need to support and fund the purchase of new voting machines. The selection process, the responsibility of the Board of Elections, should be transparent. Voting machines selected should use voter-marked "paper ballots," not just "paper records," so that voters can immediately see that the voting machine reflected their choices. Also, we need paper ballots so that machines can be audited to detect any tampering with their software.

I urge you to move on this matter quickly so that we can purchase and train people on the new machines in 2019. Please help ensure that our elections truly reflect the votes that were cast.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Address, or County and District]

Photo courtesy of Kodak Views on Flickr under Creative Commons.