HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman held a press conference at 9:00 p.m. on Nov. 8 to provide updates on Pennsylvania’s general election.

Chapman reported that Pennsylvania had a “relatively incident-free” midterm election, and thanked election officials across the Commonwealth for their service.

“Election workers are the frontline heroes of our democracy. We are grateful for their work ensuring all eligible Pennsylvanians have access to the ballot and that every vote is counted,” Chapman said.

Polls in most of Pennsylvania closed at 8 p.m., although Luzerne County experienced issues that will leave polls open until 10 p.m.

Several polling places in Luzerne County needed their supply of paper ballots replenished. County Solicitor Mike Butera said no voters were turned away, more ballots were being delivered to every precinct, and that polls would stay open an extra two hours only in Luzerne County.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, 83% of vote-by-mail ballots were returned as of 9 a.m. on Nov. 8. A total of 1,439,579 ballot applications were accepted and 1,190,087 were returned.

Chapman touched on a few typical election day incidents across Pennsylvania, such as power outages, a gas leak, and a few polling locations opening late.

County election officials were made aware of these incidents and all were dealt with promptly.

“It takes a team to protect democracy,” Chapman said. “Pennsylvania once again executed a free, fair and secure election.”

Watch Chapman’s press conference here:

Of the 1,190,087 ballots returned, registered Democrats accounted for 822,861 of returned ballots, or 69%.

Registered Republican ballots returned accounted for 253,240 (21%) and third party voters accounted for 9% of returned ballots.

  • Ballot applications: 1,439,579
  • Democrat ballot applications: 986,540
  • Republican ballot applications: 303,438
  • Third party ballot applications: 149,601
  • Ballots returned: 1,190,087
  • Democrat ballots returned: 822,861
  • Republican ballots returned: 253,240
  • Third party ballots returned: 113,986

The number of returned ballots does not necessarily mean the votes were for Democrats or Republicans. The ballots are sorted based on the voter registration of the applicant.

Vote by mail ballots needed to be returned by 8 p.m. on November 8 with proper signatures, dates, and envelopes for the vote to be counted.

Unofficial results are due to the Department of State by 5 p.m. on Nov. 15, while certified results by-county are due on Nov. 28.

Chapman said the Department of State expects to see an increase in provisional ballots due to undated and incorrectly dated ballots.

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The Department of State will provide more information regarding mail-in and absentee ballots in the days after Nov. 8.

Pennsylvania voters will elect a new governor and lieutenant governor and U.S. Senator, as well as all the state’s 17 congressional representatives, 25 of its 50 state senators, and all 203 state House members. 

The Department of State has real-time updates of their vote counts available at electionreturns.pa.gov.

The Associated Press contributed to this report