Pennsylvania Primary Election: Smooth Sailing with Historic Mail-In Ballot Turnout

Al SchmidtCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

PENNSYLVANIA — Al Schmidt, the Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth, praised the municipal primary election in Pennsylvania, proclaiming that it ran seamlessly. He commended county election officials and poll workers for organizing free, fair, and secure voting, while thanking eligible voters for casting their ballots.

“First, I’d like to thank our county election officials and poll workers for conducting another free, fair, and secure election in Pennsylvania,” Schmidt said. “I also thank all eligible voters who did their part and cast their ballot in this primary election.”

Counties received about 788,000 mail ballot applications for the primary – nearly 708,000 applications for no-excuse mail-in ballots and 80,000 applications for absentee ballots. As of 7:30 p.m., more than 74 percent of those mail ballots had been returned. Voters had until 8 p.m. to return their completed mail ballot to their county board of elections.

Pennsylvanians also voted in-person yesterday, turning out at more than 9,000 polling places across 67 counties. Final voter turnout numbers will be available in several days, after all eligible votes have been counted.

Schmidt noted that Conewago Elementary School, a polling place in York County, was partially blocked for several hours by road construction. County officials successfully petitioned the York County Court of Common Pleas to extend voting for that precinct. Voters in line by 9:30 p.m. were able to cast their vote.

A handful of other counties reported routine issues throughout the day, such as precincts opening a few minutes late. The department offered its assistance to counties as they resolved those issues.

Department of State staff answered about 600 calls yesterday via the commonwealth’s voter hotline (1-877-VOTESPA). Most callers had questions about their voter registration status, polling place location, or mail ballot.

As unofficial results become available from counties, they will be posted on the department’s elections return site at electionreturns.pa.gov. The site provides statewide totals and county-by-county breakdowns of each race by votes cast in-person on Primary Day, votes cast by mail ballot, and votes cast by provisional ballot.

Schmidt also thanked state and federal partners who helped ensure the security of yesterday’s primary election.

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