The proposed change calls for all voting machines to print the type of ballot that can be stored and counted by hand, if necessary, for several years. That type of printer currently isn't available for the touch-screen machines purchased last year by Allegheny and six other counties in Western Pennsylvania and may not be available for any other type of voting machine.
"The bill right now requires a printer with archival paper. As of right now, I don't know of any system that has archival paper," said Regis Young, director of elections in Butler County. "I hope that doesn't mean we have to scrap what we have."
ES&S, which sold many machines in Pennsylvania, refused to say whether it could provide printers that meet the proposed specs.
Jeffrey W. Greenburg, director of elections in Mercer County, said the company has not told him it couldn't meet the proposed requirement. "I can tell you I think $300 million would be a spit in the bucket if everybody has to get this kind of printer or get all new machines," said Mr. Greenburg, whose county purchased 290 iVotronic machines for $900,000.