While speaking in northeastern Pennsylvania Wednesday, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale made the following statement regarding reports that the director of the Luzerne County Elections Bureau accepted trips from a vendor that provided the county’s voting equipment and electronic poll books, and announced he would be launching a statewide review:
“It was reported that the Luzerne County Elections Director was on junkets to Las Vegas for the voting equipment company that the county hired. Needless to say, that is outrageous. The idea that any public official in Pennsylvania would go on a junket, paid for by a company for which they’re helping to get taxpayer dollars, is a disgrace.
“We’re going to question this individual to find out what they did in Vegas. I want to know why the trip wasn’t reported on their ethics form. If the trip was appropriate, why wasn’t it listed on the ethics form?
“The security of our election system is a principal foundation of our democracy. There’s no debate; people must have faith in our system.
“We’re going to investigate this across Pennsylvania to find out which counties use these systems, whether any other election officials were paid to go on these junkets, and review the entire procurement process for how these vendors and machines are selected.
“I’m currently auditing the Department of State, and specifically the Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors. We’re going to offer recommendations to make sure that system is more secure moving forward because we’re one of the 21 states that the Russians tried to hack leading up to the 2016 election. We’re also going to be offering reforms to the electoral system to make sure we have a more secure system.
“Having any vendor pay for a junket is unacceptable. As far as I know, no laws have been broken. But I want to know what’s going on in the rest of our counties.”