'I take it as it comes': Reaction to Helfrich oath-of-office case muted

York County still scrambling to resolve races impacted by voting machine error

David Weissman
York Dispatch
Election Day in York City, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Sandra Thompson said she's still in "wait-and-see" mode when in comes to any potential next steps for her candidacy for York County Court of Common Pleas judge.

The local attorney and York NAACP chapter president unofficially finished on the outside looking in at three judge vacancies after the municipal election Tuesday, Nov. 7, but a technical oversight with the county voting machines has left her and other candidates unsure of the results.

The oversight, discovered Monday afternoon, allowed a single voter to cast multiple votes for a single candidate in races where more than one candidate is elected.

The county Court of Common Pleas judges race was one of eight contested races in the county where the issue might have had an impact, according to county spokesman Mark Walters.

Two of Thompson's opponents, Kathleen Prendergast and Clyde Vedder, were listed on both the Republican and Democratic tickets and therefore could have received multiple votes from a single voter as a result of the machine glitch. Both more than doubled Thompson's vote total.

More:Voting machine glitch causes confusion in county judge, school board races

More:Helfrich defeats Bracey in York City mayor race

Thompson, who was only listed on the Democratic ticket, unofficially finished nearly 14,000 votes behind the third-place finisher, Amber Anstine Kraft, who was listed only on the Republican ticket.

That wide margin is why Alex Shorb, chairman of the York County Republican Committee, said he's not worried about the role the glitch might have played in that election.

The other potentially affected races — Central York and West York school district directors, Dover Township supervisors and North York, West York, Red Lion and Glen Rock borough councils — included some closer margins of victory.

Walters said a revote is "certainly on the table," but officials are hoping to resolve the oversight without a special election.

Sandra Thompson

Thompson, who found out about the issue from news reports, said she's waiting for the county to gather all information before making a decision on how she wants to proceed.

Either way, she said the issue is frustrating as someone who ran on a platform of transparency and due process for all.

"To have an election where the implication is that it lacks fairness (or) due process ... is troubling," Thompson said. "It leaves open something that everybody wants concluded."

County officials worked with voting-machine vendor Sequoia on Election Day to determine how many "double votes" were cast in the eight races, but officials were unable to resolve the issues before the end of the night.

More:Know before you go: York County ballots

Walters said the glitch was the result of an error in programming the machines by a county employee, but he's not aware of any potential discipline for any employees related to this incident.

The county's election board is scheduled to hold a public meeting at 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 13, in the commissioners room, on the second level of the county administration building, at 28 E. Market St. in York City. That meeting was already scheduled before the voting machine issue arose, Walters said.

The county alsois in contact with the Pennsylvania Department of State, which issued a statement Tuesday that it plans to request a formal post-election review and report from the county.