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Lancaster County seeing popularity in early voting

Mail-in and absentee ballots are becoming more widespread in Lancaster County.

LANCASTER, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Municipal Primary Elections take place on Tuesday, but some Pennsylvanians have already voted.

Lancaster County Commissioner John Trescot said that early voting is becoming more popular because of its convenience.

"For people who have limited mobility or working second or third shift, it’s hard to get to the polling places," said Trescot. "People like convenience, and we’re trying to make it easier for them to do it, and that’s why the bill was passed in 2019."

The bill he is referring to is Act 77, and it marks four years since the state introduced no-excuse mail-in ballots. 

However, since the passage, there have been some snags along the way—some even in Lancaster County.

Just in April, an error was made in ballots sent to Democratic and Republican voters in the state Superior Court primary, the Lancaster elections office said. Instead of directing voters to choose two candidates in the race, the ballots incorrectly told them to only vote for one.

Nearly 19,000 mail-in voters in Lancaster County were issued corrected ballots, the county's Board of Elections announced in April.

Looking back to the November general election in 2022, Lancaster County predicted votes would be in by midnight.

They didn’t finish counting ballots until 3 a.m.

But even with some hiccups along the way, Commissioner Trescot said they have worked out most of them. 

“We’re getting better every time,” Trescot said. “Now we have a really experienced group of volunteers. We now have high-speed envelope openers. For this election, we’ve added six new high-speed scanners.”

Voter have until 8 p.m. to drop off mail-in ballots.

There is also free parking for voters along Chestnut Street in front of the Lancaster County Government Center, as well as free parking in the parking garage. 

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