HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh Chapman said Tuesday night that election day was very successful with minimal issues.
Long lines led a court to order Berks County polling locations to stay open an extra hour because electronic poll books weren’t working and they had to switch to paper.
In Allegheny County, some polling places ran low on ballots and the county had to replenish.
The biggest issue was in Lancaster County where commissioners say the company that printed its mail-in ballots included the wrong ID code, meaning scanning machines couldn’t read them.
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There were issues with ballots last year as well, so the county switched vendors. Out of the approximately 22,000 ballots returned for this election, only a third were scanning properly Tuesday morning.
Commissioner Josh Parsons says they did run test ballots from the company which ran smoothly and were approved. But by law, the county is not allowed to open up any ballots until seven a.m. on election day.
There are a few other counties that use the same vendor, but this was a unique situation for Lancaster County.
Parsons blames Act 77, which allowed no excuse mail-in voting in Pennsylvania, and wants the law repealed.
“Citizens deserve to have accurate results from elections and they deserve to have them on election night, not days later,” Parsons said. “But because of this, we’re not going to have final election results from these mail ballots for probably several days.”
Chapman says Act 77 is not the problem.
“Pennsylvania voters love mail-in voting. They’ve embraced it. We’ve seen over 4.7 million Pennsylvanians use vote by mail. This is an isolated incident so it’s unfair to blame this incident on Act 77,” Chapman said.
Staff with the Pennsylvania Department of state fielded 1,200 calls to the state’s voter hotline including reports of polls opening late, precincts running low on ballots, electioneering too close to the polling place, and potential voter intimidation.