Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman briefs the press on Tuesday, 11/8/22 (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller).
HARRISBURG – Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Leigh Chapman said that “a free, fair and secure election” was conducted across the commonwealth on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Harrisburg, Chapman provided an update on how Election Day played out across the commonwealth.
She began by thanking poll workers and local election officials at the 9,218 polling places across Pennsylvania.
“Election officials at all 67 counties are well aware that the eyes of the nation are on the Keystone State tonight,” Chapman said. “Overall, I’d like to say thank you again to county election directors and poll workers for a job well done today. I’d also like to thank the millions of Pennsylvania voters who exercise their fundamental right to vote in this election. You contributed to democracy and you should be proud.”
Pennsylvania voters requested more than 1.4 million mail-in and absentee ballots, about 1.15 million, or approximately 83 percent, of those ballots were voted and returned to counties, Chapman said, adding that nearly 1 million of the returned mail ballots came from registered Democrats and about 303,000 of the returned ballots came from registered Republicans.
Chapman noted there have been reports of “minimal” issues at polling places across Pennsylvania, including polling places opening late, power outages, and a gas leak. Chapman said that all of the issues were resolved.
In Luzerne County, polls remained open until 10 p.m. after approximately 44 polling places ran out of ballot paper earlier in the day.
“Additional paper was delivered to those polling places and a Luzerne County judge issued an order to extend voting hours until 10 p.m.,” Chapman said, adding that the Department of State “closely monitored the situation and supported the decision to give impacted voters with the additional time to cast their vote.”
Pennsylvania’s voter hotline received more than 4,000 calls as of 9 p.m. on Tuesday. By comparison, Chapman said the hotline received about 5,000 calls in the 2020 General Election, but noted that calls to the hotline are still coming in.
Just 11 counties have responded to Chapman’s Saturday request that all 67 counties provide a party-by-party count of mail-in ballots with incorrect or missing dates.
Chapman declined to comment on a federal lawsuit regarding undated mail-in ballots and did not provide a timeline for when a ruling might be issued in the case.
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