Monday, February 19, 2007

February 7, 2007 Minutes For Citizens' Advisory Committee

In conjunction with
Voter’s Registration Office

Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, February 7, 2007 – 7:00 p.m.

The scheduled meeting of the Citizen’s Advisory Committee was held at 7:00 p.m., February 7, 2007, in Court Room # 1.

WELCOME – Margaret “Peg” Ferraro

Ms. Ferraro welcomed everyone to this meeting.


Mr. Conklin gave the roll and the following committee members were present:

Margaret “Peg” Ferraro Jack Bradt Richard Shade
Richard Benner Greta Browne NOT PRESENT

Approval of Minutes

One correction on Page 5 under comment - Ms. Browne should have been Joan Rosenthol. Loretta Schiavone should be commended for these great minutes.

Page 2 points out these are wireless voting machines. It is a wireless feature not a wireless machine, which is not allowed by the State.

Minutes approved as amended, and corrected. Motion by Mr.Benner, seconded by Mr. Shade. Motion carried.

Old Business

There was a comment by Mr. Benner concerning the original wireless feature on the machines and subsequently the Department of State did not certify the machine’s wireless feature.

The role of the Election Commission was discussed. Mr. Garvin oversees personnel office and it’s daily activities. Any problems are brought before the Board. The Solicitor’s office is utilized in the case of a legal question. The staff is informed of any updates and changes.
The actual machines themselves were discussed. Technical difficulties were reported to a dedicated telephone number manned with a staff of six people.

The county is divided into 5 zones consisting of 23 districts. A request to break the zones down into smaller areas was made.

Mr. Erney gave a detailed demonstration of the machines. An explanation of how every machine is individually tested was given. Smart cards are programmed for individual districts and will only work on those particular machines. Voters do not handle the smart cards. If the card is removed too soon, the machine may freeze. Information is not lost but the machine needs to be rebooted. This issue will be addressed in upcoming election training.

Machines are certified only by the PA Department of State.

Each machine generates reports. A sample report was generated and shown to the committee.

Staff training was questioned. Instructions sheets were discussed. The process of tallying the votes was explained.

There were complaints regarding the lack of assistance received from the Federal Government in the whole process.


There have been accusations that the machines used were not State-certified. The State was questioned about it but has not yet responded.

The screen freezing up of machines was mentioned again.

A suggestion was made to have one or two poll workers on stand by in the event a scheduled worker does not show up. Workers are given a demonstration of the machine and an opportunity to do some hands on training with it.

There is only one federal testing place that the entire nation has to go through.

Training of poll workers discussed a second time. There needs to be a process to ensure each individual is 100% functional regarding the machines.

The tapes coming out of the machines need to be random, not chronological so it is impossible to tell who voted when.

Ms. Ferraro adjourned the meeting at 8:40 p.m. Motion by Mr. Shade, seconded by Mr. Bradt. Motion carried.

Next meeting: February 13, 2007 @ 4 p.m. County Council Meeting Room

ADOPTED THIS DATE: _____________________________


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