Lehigh County election official says votes, ballots, are safe

Written by on May 17, 2021

Lehigh County election official says votes, ballots, are safe

By Ben Stemrich

May 17, 2021

Mail-in ballots for the 2020 General Election in the United States are seen after being sorted at the Chester County Voter Services office, Friday, Oct. 23, 2020, in West Chester, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Election security was called into question like never before in the 2020 general election. A primary, in an off-year, won’t get nearly as much buzz, but that doesn’t mean officials aren’t making sure all votes are secure. 

Listen to the story.

In Lehigh County, mail-in ballot drop boxes are locked and under surveillance. Sheriff’s deputies pick up the ballots every day.

Tim Benyo with the election’s office says voting machines are also kept locked away.

“We have a locked secure facility with cameras and sensors and such, and logs of people that enter and leave the warehouse,” Benyo says.

But what about when voting machines are being used? Can’t they be hacked like most computers?

Benyo says no.

“The networks that do the tabulation are standalone networks, they are not connected to the Internet in any manner, none of the machines have the capability of connecting to the Internet,” Benyo says. 

Any changes to a machine require state and federal approval, he says. 

The primary elections will be held Tuesday, May 18.

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