Pa. Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid reports smooth 2021 election

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid is reporting Tuesday’s municipal election went well and had no major issues.

“Thanks to the hard work and professionalism of county election officials and poll workers, we didn’t see any major or widespread issues,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “No-excuse mail-in voting remained a popular option among voters in this fourth election since it first became available in Pennsylvania.”

Pa. Dept. of State says over one million ballots were requested by mail, with almost 90% being no-excuse mail-in ballots.

Degraffenreid says there were no widespread or unusual issues but there were some isolated issues that normally happen during the process. This includes polling places not opening on time and campaign workers offering materials to voters.

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She says Montgomery County also had to file a petition in the Court of Common Pleas to extend polling place hours by an hour in four precincts that delayed opening. There was also an e-poll book issue in Lehigh County.

During the primaries in May, Lebanon and York Counties reported a shortage of ballots for people voting in-person at polling precincts. They blamed unusually high turnout, especially among Republicans, for running out of ballots. On Nov. 2, they were prepared and reported no issues.

Degraffenreid mentions she expects most mail-in ballots should be counted within a few days in each county, to ensure safe and secure elections.

“I want to recognize and thank county election officials and poll workers for conducting another free, fair, and secure election during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic,” Secretary Degraffenreid said. “Election staff and volunteers deserve the gratitude and appreciation of all Pennsylvanians for their hard work, extraordinary efforts, and steadfast commitment to ensuring that their fellow citizens can safely exercise their precious right to vote.”

The 2022 election will feature bigger races, including for Pa. governor, where Gov. Wolf is term-limited, and the U.S. Senate seat to replace Pat Toomey, who is not running for reelection.

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