WPMT FOX43 | News in Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lebanon News, Weather, Sports

Pennsylvania Department of State addresses General Election and voting machine issues

In a Tuesday night news conference, Pennsylvania’s Department of State addressed isolated issues with this year’s General Election. State officials ...

In a Tuesday night news conference, Pennsylvania's Department of State addressed isolated issues with this year's General Election.

State officials say 67 percent of Pennsylvania’s counties deployed new voting systems. The election response team assembled at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) responded to and monitored 29 issues throughout the day.

The issues ranged from reports of a gas leak in one precinct to power outages at several polling places. County election officials worked with local authorities to resolve the issues, and voters still cast their ballots in those locations.

In York County, polling locations were set up with just one ballot scanner.

Officials say paper feeding issues slowed down the voting process for thousands.

"We provided them the average number of voters per hour that could be scanned, so I think counties need to look at what other counties experienced and go back to the number we provided a year ago," said Kathy Boockver, acting Secretary of State. "And make sure that it's sufficient because clearly it wasn't and we are learning that in some cases it hasn't been. We need to make sure in 2020 they have well more than they need including back up ones to deploy," she added.

York County Board of Elections will review the current process and we will most likely deploy more scanners in the future with proper approvals from the Board of Elections," said Mark Walters, York County Spokesperson.

Looking ahead, counties across the state says they are learning from other municipalities ahead of next year's Primary Elections.

A spokesperson with Dauphin County wrote in part: "We're concerned about rolling out a new voting system during a Presidential Election," said Amy Richards, Dauphin County Spokesperson.

"We have yet to purchase a new voting system and plan to tackle the issue this Fall. We are paying close attention to what's happening in other counties that have new machines," added Richards.

Primary Elections are on April 28, 2020.

State law requires all 67 counties to purchase and implement new voting systems before then.

In Cumberland County, a spokesperson with the Board of Elections tells FOX43 They plan to have enough scanners to keep up with lines, writing in part: "There will be a full complement of voting machines at each polling place come the Primary Election in 2020," said  Samantha Krepps, Cumberland County Spokesperson.

The State Department will be following up with county officials to further review the process leading to any issues experienced.

County election officials say based on preliminary reports, voter turnout was better than expected this year.

Those numbers are expected to be released in the next few days.