READING, Pa. — The Berks County Elections Board on Thursday addressed the electronic pollbook problems that prompted a judge to extend voting by an hour during the May primary.
"An investigation will not, and is not and has not been about blame," said Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach. "It's been about what happened, why did it happen and what do we need to do to make sure it doesn't happen again."
An analysis of issues from Berks County's most recent primary election shows that the main problem stemmed from the electronic signatures not being uploaded to the new electronic pollbooks. It was the first time the books were used countywide.
"There was a significant additional issue," said Berks County Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt, who chairs the elections board. "The county elections response system in place for the primary and for years prior was designed to address small, localized issues and not a response to all 202 precincts."
There are several recommendations to try and alleviate the issues and prevent future problems.
"We are underway in already addressing a number of these recommendations," Leinbach said.
The recommendations include additional training for poll workers and elections staff on the electronic pollbooks and other processes. The county said the training has already begun.
Election Systems and Software staff will work with the county to make a service and support plan.
Another recommendation is to develop a better communications system.
"We have established an elections communications team led by the Department of Emergency Services, Brian Gottschall, which also includes our director of IT, Justin Loose, elections staff and our chief operations officer," Barnhardt said.
"We're committed to getting this right in the November election," Leinbach added.