Berks County's Voting Machines
The Shouptronic or Danaher Model 1242-5M
Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machine
Berks County has been electronically voting since 1989 with the following advantages for our citizens:
- Repeatability - no machine vote has ever changed in a recount.
- Full face ballot - no confusing need to view page after page to vote a long ballot.
- Simplicity - no paper ballots to lose or damage, no special pencils".
- Proven track record - The same system is used in Bucks, Dauphin, Philadelphia and Monroe counties, and in the entire state of Delaware.
- Ease of use - Unofficial returns can be available early on election night.
- Fraud free - Voting machine software is not user alterable.
- Electronic reporting - guarantees accurate reports and easy website interface.
- Secure - while they are portable, the machines are not easily "misappropriated".
Most of Berks County's machines were purchased from Shoup Voting Solutions in 1989. The software included in the purchase at that time was DOS based and the county quickly outgrew its capabilities. Newspapers carried frequent stories about this problem.
In recent years, additional machines have been purchased from Danaher Controls, the new supplier of these machines. Berks County has been using the Danaher software for election database management since the November 2000 election, saving the taxpayers literally millions of dollars when compared to acquiring a totally new system.
The "Help America Vote Act" of 2002 requires that beginning January 1, 2006, all States and Counties use voting machines that provide individuals with a disability the opportunity to privately and independently cast their ballot. Our voting machines were accessible to persons in a wheelchair.
The Election Services Office has upgraded our voting machines to include a Audio device (a hand held Keypad and Headphones) to allow visually impaired voters, who are physically unable to vote unassisted using the visual full face ballot sheet, the opportunity to privately and independently cast their ballot. They also produce a "paper audit capability"; The cost of these upgrades were approximately $600,000, all of it has been federally reimbursed.