The Lancaster County Board of Elections feels confident in the performance of its new voting system despite a few stumbles on Election Day.
Elections Board Chief Clerk Randall Wenger said most difficulties voters encountered on Tuesday were due to user error. Perforated stubs were not removed from the bottom of the ballot, which caused the scanner to reject the ballot until the section was torn off.
“Having voters remove them before feeding it into the scanner is an imperative,” Wenger said. “We’re working on ways for next year to make the stub more pronounced so that they are removed before the ballot is cast.”
In eight of the county’s 242 voting precincts, a second ballot scanner was required due to a problem with the primary unit.
Scanners were replaced at Lancaster City 7th Ward 3rd Precinct, Akron Borough East District, Lititz Borough 1st Ward, Columbia Borough 6th District, Conoy Township, West Lampeter Township Lakes District, Manheim Township 1st District, and Manheim Township 11th District.
If there was a malfunction with the first machine, it will not be known until 30 days after the election as machines must sit untouched until then.
Voters in other parts of the state experienced more problems, however. According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Department of State, voters in York County experienced problems because ballots were printed on an incorrect paper size, causing scanner feed problems.
In Lancaster, ballots for this election also included a separate second page for retention of Judge David Ashworth, which Wenger said usually causes issues when it is time to feed the ballot into the scanner.
Overall, however, Wenger said the system worked.
"I think there are things we can improve for next year (but), all-in-all, it was successful," said Wenger.