PA Auditor General DePasquale Criticizes County Officials For Accepting Voting Machine Vendor Gifts
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale wants to strengthen state laws against accepting gifts after an audit determined that officials in 18 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties accepted gifts, meals or trips from firms competing to sell new voting machines to counties ahead of the 2020 election.
Counties across Pennsylvania have been mandated to buy new voting machines that produce paper records. DePasquale says the federal government found that Pennsylvania was targeted for hacking by Russian actors in the 2016 election.
Counties should “make the decision based on who has the best ability for voters to cast safe and secure and reliable votes, not who provides a dinner,” says DePasquale. He says he intends to refer the findings to the state ethics commission for further review.
DePasquale also discussed a recent performance audit of the Wilkinsburg Borough school district. He says he expects the school district will eventually dissolve. His audit details severe financial struggles, further qualifying the district for financial watch status, which allows officials to receive help from state Department of Education advisors.
DePasquale is expected to host a community forum Thursday evening in Penn Hills to discuss ideas to improve its school district's finances. A 2016 audit identified mismanagement and a lack of oversight as root causes for its growing debt problem, exacerbated by a new high school and the consolidation of several elementary schools. The school board this week voted to seek a 6 percent tax increase and previously cut numerous teaching and administrative positions.
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