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Pa. Secretary of State: No major polling issues on Election Day

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, 10:42 a.m.
Myrna McCloskey (left) of Hempfield is helped by Beth Lechman, director of elections for Westmoreland County, as she and Melissa Brown of Scottdale conduct a public test of the voting equipment for the 2016 election at the Election Bureau office in the Westmoreland County Courthouse. No major issues were reported at polling places in yesterday's election.
Dan Speicher | Tribune-Review
Myrna McCloskey (left) of Hempfield is helped by Beth Lechman, director of elections for Westmoreland County, as she and Melissa Brown of Scottdale conduct a public test of the voting equipment for the 2016 election at the Election Bureau office in the Westmoreland County Courthouse. No major issues were reported at polling places in yesterday's election.

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 in a release. “Thanks to properly trained poll workers and well-informed voters, most areas of the state saw only isolated issues.”

A few minor issues cropped up during the day on the eastern side of the state:

• In York County, election officials dealt with a ballot programming situation that could have allowed a voter to cast two votes for any candidate who cross-filed or who qualified for both the Democratic and Republican tickets. The county also is investigating reports that voters in some areas encountered difficulty in casting straight-party ticket votes. Torres said he plans to request a full review and report on the situation.

• In Philadelphia, the election board confirmed a ballot printing error in some polling places that misstated the name of a candidate for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. Notices were placed in polling places informing voters of the error.

• Chester County reported that voters in one apartment complex had been assigned to the wrong precinct. Election officials ensured that the 163 voters involved were able to cast ballots.

By the time polls closed at 8 p.m., Department of State staff had answered more than 600 calls received via the Commonwealth's voter help line (1-877-VOTESPA). Most callers asked for help in locating their polling place.

Pennsylvania's election involved about 9,160 polling places.

“Poll workers are in the front lines administering fair and reliable elections. They work long hours and have a strong sense of civic responsibility,” Torres said. “Their role is vital to our democracy.”

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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