Ballot shortages across the states--specifically York and Lebanon Counties--were due to an unexpected rise in voter turnout.
Republican turnout in York County alone went up 72 percent and Democratic Party turnout went up 62 percent compared to the municipal election in 2019, according to the York County President Commissioner Julie Wheeler.
“What happened yesterday was unacceptable and we need to put measures in place to fix it,” was a statement often repeated by the county commissioners at a brief conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Registered Republicans in the county outnumber Democrats 61 to 39. As predicted, more Republicans voted in Tuesday's municipal election a whopping 47,666 voters showed up--more than the total number of votes cast in the entire county in the 2019 municipal vote, which had only 41,500 votes cast.
In York County, 19.3 percent was the highest Republican turnout over 2015, 2017 and 2019. The unofficial numbers for 2021 show Republican turnout at 30.3 percent.
Although the numbers were mainly reported along party lines they weren't the only factor in increased turnout; Wheeler also said one polling station went from 100 Independents turning out to vote in 2019 to around 9,000 coming in on Tuesday.
The current state code for providing ballots for election states that a county prints enough ballots to satisfy the highest turnout over the past three similar elections plus 10 percent.
The commission said they did just that “and then some, nearly 15 percent more ballots were ordered” said Wheeler.
One of the commissioners stated this was the first time in their 14-years on the commission that voters have been turned away and asked to come back later--something he hopes will never happen again.
Lebanon County officials report similar issues with Republican turnout around 40 percent.
All the officials said they saw many people come in even if they received a mail-in ballot. One commissioner suggested the recent mask rule changes may have inspired more people to come to vote in-person.
The commissioner added that when a person tosses out their mail-in ballot and requests a print ballot in-person that means a second ballot is provided to the same person-- which adds to the taxpayer expense.
The commission reminds voters who want to receive mail-in ballots for the November election to put in their requests at least seven days before the next election, or Oct. 26.
You can request your ballot here.
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