Harrisburg, PA – Acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman reported that Pennsylvania achieved a relatively incident-free midterm election and thanked county election officials and poll workers for their tireless service.
"Election workers are the frontline heroes of our democracy. We are grateful for their work ensuring all eligible Pennsylvanians have access to the ballot and that every vote is counted," Chapman said. "Today, 67 counties supported 9,218 polling places where tens of thousands of poll workers worked long hours to ensure Pennsylvanians could vote."
Pennsylvania voters requested more than 1.4 million mail-in and absentee ballots in this election, and as of noon today, the counties had reported about 1.15 million, or approximately 83 percent of those ballots, were voted and returned. To count, mail ballots must have been received by counties by 8 p.m.
Chapman noted that it will take a few days for unofficial returns to be completed. As counties provide the Department of State with real-time updates of their vote counts, that information will be posted online at electionreturns.pa.gov. Unofficial results are due from the counties by 5 p.m. Nov. 15.
Chapman reported that the day's biggest issue occurred in Luzerne County, where approximately 44 polling places ran out of ballot paper. Luzerne County Common Pleas Judge Lesa S. Gelb issued an order extending in-person voting hours at the polls an additional two hours, until 10 p.m., so affected voters could cast their ballots.
A handful of typical Election Day incidents occurred elsewhere at polling places across the commonwealth, including power outages and a few precincts opening late. All were handled quickly and professionally.
Chapman also thanked Pennsylvania's security partners, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania Department of Homeland Security, the Pennsylvania National Guard, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Office of Information Technology.
"It takes a team to protect democracy," Chapman said. "Pennsylvania once again executed a free, fair and secure election."
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