Acting Secretary of State Al Schmidt discusses the Pennsylvania’s primary election at the Capitol Media Center on Tuesday, May 16, 2023.
Acting Secretary of State Al Schmidt told reporters Tuesday night that the commonwealth’s primary election was a “free and fair, safe and secure election.”
“You will never see a headline that reads an election went smoothly, but that’s what happened today in Pennsylvania,” Schmidt said from the Capitol Media Center.
“There was nothing out of the ordinary that we experienced today,” he said.
Schmidt thanked local election officials, and said that as a former Philadelphia City Commissioner he understands the difficulty of the job.
Staff at the Pennsylvania Department of State responded to approximately 600 calls to its voter hotline on Tuesday, a lower volume than in other recent elections, Schmidt noted.
Of the approximately 9,000 voting precincts across Pennsylvania, Schmidt said he was only aware of one issue, which occurred in York County.
Schmidt reported that due to road construction, voters were blocked from access to one voting place. He said that county officials and elections administrators extended hours at that polling location in Conewago Township to ensure voters had a chance to cast their ballots.
“Every vote is precious” he said, adding that election officials don’t want to see anyone turned away.
While Schmidt Said he didn’t have a good idea of voter turnout yet, he said that as of 8 p.m. around 74% of the mail-in ballots requested by registered voters had been returned.
“Every election is important,” Schmidt said.
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