Update: Lancaster County’s municipal election was continuing to run without major issues, Commissioner John Trescot said early Tuesday evening.
A paper jam reported at one precinct is an example of the “normal things that happen” during an election, he said. The issue was resolved, he said.
Trescot, who chairs the Board of Elections, spoke to the media about an hour before polls were to close at 8 p.m. He said he visited 10 or 12 precincts during the day and saw a steady flow of voters. He estimated turnout would end up at around 30%.
Elsewhere, a voting machine error in Northampton County caused votes on retaining two Superior Court judges to be flipped, ABC 27 reported. Judge Jack Panella’s votes were being counted for Victor Stabile and vice versa.
The county obtained a court order that will allow it to correct the problem afterward, ABC said.
Tuesday’s municipal election is going smoothly, county officials said in a mid-morning update.
- Related: FAQ: The Nov. 7 general election
All 240 polling places opened on schedule at 7 a.m., said Commissioner John Trescot, who chairs the Board of Elections. Meanwhile, volunteer election workers at the County Government Center began opening the roughly 25,000 mail-in ballots received by the county and preparing them for scanning.
The county now has six high-speed scanners to count mail-in ballots, which have made that the single fastest part of the process, elections Chief Clerk Christa Miller said. She anticipates completing the bulk of the scanning by mid-afternoon.
Voters can return mail-in ballots until 8 p.m. tonight, when polls close. Once that happens, any remaining ballots will be scanned, and totals from polling places will be added in.
Early results should be available starting around 10 p.m., and all unofficial results by midnight, Trescot and Miller said.
Trescot said he did not have a good sense of whether turnout was light or heavy. As of shortly before noon, LNP was reporting “a steady flow of voters” in the morning, with high interest in contested school board races.
Today should be a good test of election procedures for next year’s presidential election, Miller said. Today’s ballot is two pages, so 25,000 mail-in ballots will necessitate 50,000 scans, in line with what can be expected next year, when more voters are expected but the ballot will be a single page.
In the midterms last year, about 43,000 voters cast mail-in ballots, Miller said.
Today’s municipal election features races for a state Supreme Court seat and other judgeships; county commissioners; and numerous school board and municipal races.
About 24,000 mail-in ballots went out to voters with instructions referring to a “white” secrecy envelope rather than the yellow one actually provided. Last month, the Election Board passed a measure allowing any mail-in voters confused by the error to come into the election office and cast a new ballot if it was determined they did not use the secrecy envelope and mailing envelope correctly. As of Monday, no one had made use of that provision, Trescot said.
Any voters notified that their ballots have been rejected can cast a provisional ballot at their polling place until 8 p.m., Trescot said.