YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – Republican and Democratic state lawmakers expressing concerns Thursday about York County’s new voting machines.
The lawmakers agreed there was a lack of preparation for last week’s municipal elections.
State Rep. Dawn Keefer (R-York) says 170 people came to a polling place in Fairview Township and left without casting their vote because they were unwilling to wait in a long line.
“That is a disenfranchised voter,” Keefer said.
County poll judge Ralph Branch said there were similar incidents at other locations.
“We are facing an issue of voter suppression,” he said. “If we have people waiting in line for 45 minutes, we are going to see a decline in voting.”
State Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) said voters in the county made a national impact in the 2016 presidential election.
“York was mentioned nationally, a county that overwhelmingly provided votes for the presidential election, who had the president win Pennsylvania thus win the presidency, so we are a critical county and a potential swing state for the presidential election,” Grove said.
Rep. Carol Hill-Evans (R-York) is looking for reassurance of a streamlined process next November.
“I’m very worried right now,” she said. “What I saw was very discouraging and what I heard when I heard people walk out and say, ‘Well, I will never vote again. If this is what it’s going to be like, then I’ll never vote again.’ That is not the type of response we should be getting from our voters.”
County commissioners say it’s too soon to give specific details on how they plan to work out kinks for next year. They say they’ll buy more voting equipment and plan to consolidate some polling areas and expand others.