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York County certifies election results showing record 77% turnout

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

The York County Board of Elections approved a certification Wednesday of the Nov. 3 election results, which showed a record 77% of the county's registered voters cast a ballot.

If no one files a petition for a recount or recanvass within five days, and if there aren't any outstanding court-ordered revisions to complete, the county will approve the final certification Nov. 23, officials said.

"It's very exciting to see the number of voters that turned out in York County to vote in this election," York County Commissioner Julie Wheeler said.

Of the 311,059 registered voters in the county, 239,659 cast a ballot in the general election, said Steve Ulrich, director of Elections and Voter Registration. He said it was the greatest recorded turnout in the county's history.

Steve Ulrich, director of Elections, right, waits as County Commissioner Ron Smith signs the Certification of Computation of Election Results after the York County Board of Elections voted to certify the computation of ballots, Wednesday, November 18, 2020.
John A. Pavoncello photo

President Donald Trump received 146,728 votes in York County, which was 62% of the total votes cast locally, according to the state's unofficial election results.

Of those votes for Trump, about 119,200 were cast in person on Election Day, about 24,600 were cast by mail-in ballot, and about 3,000 were cast via provisional ballots, state records show.

Former Vice President Joe Biden received 88,100 votes in York County, which was 37% of the total votes cast locally. Of those, about 35,900 were cast in person on Election Day, about 50,100 were cast by mail-in ballot, and about 2,100 were cast via provisional ballots, state records show.

York County's mail-in votes followed a statewide trend in which Democratic voters outpaced Republicans in their use of mail ballots. Statewide, Biden received just shy of 2 million votes via mail-in ballot, more than triple the 593,000 mail-in votes Trump received.

Biden has won Pennsylvania's 20 electoral votes by a margin of more than 80,000 votes, according to the state Department of State. Nationally, The Associated Press has called the race for Biden.

More:Out of 5,700 provisional ballots, York County tosses 14 for ID problems

More:Rep. Seth Grove to lead state House investigation into election

Smooth election: There were a couple of polling places in York County with excessively long wait times on Election Day, and a portion of people countywide voted provisionally because they never received their mail-in ballots.

But overall, the county appeared to run a smooth and efficient election with regard to canvassing and counting mail-in ballots in a timely fashion and providing several opportunities for voters to return their mail-in ballots to the county before Election Day.

York County President Commissioner Julie Wheeler
Wednesday, September 16, 2020. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

Wheeler said that after the June 2 primary, election officials reviewed what worked and what didn't so they could improve the general election.

"We took some of the best practices from the primary and applied them here," she said.

This included tripling the number of election workers to precanvass mail-in ballots on Election Day and hiring an outside printing house to print, collate and send out mail-in ballots.

In the meantime, Pennsylvania hasn't yet certified its statewide election results.

In the General Assembly, the Republican-led House State Government Committee — of which Dover Township state Rep. Seth Grove is the interim chair — voted 15-10 Wednesday to direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to coordinate a third-party election audit, The Morning Call reported.

More:Keefer, other lawmakers call for investigation into election

York County Board of Elections director Steve Ulrich says that 77% of registered county voters took part in the 2020 election, Wednesday, November 18, 2020
John A. Pavoncello photo