This article has been updated to correct the name of Sec. Degraffenreid.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Tuesday, Nov. 2, is election day, in what is called an “off-year”, but we’ll still vote in important races including statewide judges, mayors, and school board members.
So are the state, and by extension, the counties ready to roll? abc27 sat down with the secretary of state Monday afternoon, Nov 1, to find out.
“I love election day. Always exciting,” Veronica Degraffenreid, Pa. secretary of state, said.
A little too exciting last year, perhaps, as the Biden victory was postponed days until Pa. could finish counting and put him over the top. The nation skeptically eyeing the Commonwealth.
“Our counties, they’ve learned a lot from last year, being strategic with their resources,” Degraffenreid said.
There were new machines and a deluge of new absentee ballots. Degraffereid argues they’re not so new now.
“Strongly believe our counties are ready for whatever challenges and there will always be some that may sneak up on us,” Degraffenreid said.
Turnout should be low — either high 20 or low 30%. However, because counties can’t begin processing mail-ins until election morning, there may not be results on election night. “I would say to voters and candidates just to be patient with our counties,” Degraffenreid added.
For those who have a mail-in ballot that did not mail in, Degraffenreid says no problem. Just drop it at the county office or drop-box by 8:00 p.m. or, if they want to vote in person and have a full-mail-in packet, take it to where they would normally vote.
“Surrender that ballot at your polling place, it will be spoiled by the election officials, and then you will be permitted to vote on the voting equipment,” Degraffenreid said.
For those who received a mail-in ballot and lost it, you can still vote. Go to your polling place and ask for a provisional. The county will sort it out, but by this time next year, the secretary still has one request of lawmakers.
“Would it be better if counties had more time to pre-canvass? Absolutely,” Degraffenreid said.