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Acting Secretary of State Issues Election Day Report

Thursday, November 8, 2018 @ 12:11 AM

Posted by Tyler Ochs

Torres aHARRISBURG, Pa. – Acting Secretary of State Robert Torres reported that Tuesday’s general election saw no widespread issues at polling places.

“The election was carried out statewide with little incident,” Secretary Torres said. “Thanks to our well-trained poll workers and well-informed voters, most areas of the state saw only isolated issues.”

In Allegheny County, 14 polling places reported weather-related power outages. All but one of these polling places restored power quickly using a battery backup. In the remaining location, a generator was used to restore power.

In Chester County, a ballot was incorrectly configured in a Phoenixville precinct. About 93 voters were affected. In Washington County, a man was arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot poll workers.

In Lehigh County, one polling place in Whitehall Township will remain open an extra 30 minutes until 8:30 p.m. due to a temporary building evacuation this evening. In Bedford County, a polling place ran out of printed ballots. Poll workers photocopied blank ballots for voters to use.

There were reports of voting machines malfunctioning in a few counties. The affected machines were fixed in a timely manner or removed from service.

Based on conversations with county election officials and anecdotal evidence, turnout appears to have been high for a midterm election, closer to the numbers generally seen during presidential election years, Secretary Torres noted. The Department of State will not have an unofficial estimate of turnout for a few days.

By the time polls closed at 8 p.m., Department of State staff and volunteers from other state agencies had answered almost 3,600 calls received via the Commonwealth’s voter help line (1-877-VOTESPA). Most callers asked if they were registered or for help in locating their polling place.

The Pennsylvania Inter-Agency Election Preparedness and Security Workgroup and other security partners monitored for issues before and during the polling.

Torres pointed out that Pennsylvania’s election involved 9,160 polling places. He thanked the tens of thousands of Pennsylvania poll workers who assisted with the election.

“Poll workers play a vital role in our democracy,” Torres said. “They interact directly with voters as they administer fair and reliable elections. Poll workers work long hours and have a strong sense of civic responsibility.”

For unofficial election results, visit the Department of State election night returns website at electionreturns.pa.gov. The site provides statewide totals as well as county-by-county breakdowns of each race.


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