After polls closed across Pennsylvania Tuesday night, the commonwealth’s top election official updated reporters on the status of ballot counting and voting statewide.
“I’m happy to report that today’s election in the commonwealth was indeed successful,” Acting Secretary of State Veronica Degraffenreid told reporters.
She noted that “isolated incidents” occurred in various counties across the state, including Luzerne County, which reported incorrect headers on Republican ballots, Fayette County, which reported issues with barcodes on ballots that were unable to be scanned and York County, where polling places ran out of ballots and had to replenish their supply before voters could cast their ballots.
Despite the reported issues, Degraffenreid said the Pennsylvania Department of State had “no widespread” issues or concerns about the operation of the statewide primary elections on Tuesday.
Degraffenreid said she wanted to “reassure” Pennsylvanians that the “overwhelming majority” of voters were able to vote with no issues and that the department would work with counties to address any problems in an “after action review.”
For right now, Degraffenreid said, the priority of election workers and the department is a “fair and accurate” count.
The push for an accurate count, especially in contested races, could mean that results for some elections will not be available by day’s end Tuesday.
“We have to give the counties the time to make sure they count every vote that should be counted,” Degraffenreid said.
Any results will be unofficial on election night, she noted, adding that provisional ballots will be counted Friday. There’s also the matter of counting absentee ballots from military and overseas voters. Official counts from counties are due by 20 days following the election, or June 7, in this case.
Degraffenreid noted that mail-in ballots continue to be popular, with the department receiving more than 800,000 requests for mail-in ballots. As of Tuesday morning, the department said 550,000 of those ballots were returned and were being canvassed for counting.
There’s no such year as an ‘off year’ in Pennsylvania,” Degraffenreid told reporters.