GOP pushes back on cash governor seeks for voting machines

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republican lawmakers aren’t committing to the money sought by Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to back up his demand that counties replace their voting machines by 2020’s presidential elections.

Republicans who control the Legislature say a roughly $34 billion budget counterproposal they are finalizing this week doesn’t include the $15 million Wolf requested.

Wolf last year began pressing counties to buy machines with a paper-based backup that allows a voter to double-check how their vote was recorded.

That followed warnings by federal authorities that Russian hackers had targeted Pennsylvania and at least 20 other states during 2016’s election.

The total replacement cost could exceed $100 million.

But Republicans say that there’s no legitimate example of an election irregularity in Pennsylvania and that counties that already use machines with a paper-based backup shouldn’t be forced to buy new machines.

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