York County to improve election results reporting, overhaul website

Logan Hullinger
York Dispatch
President of the York County Board of Elections Julie Wheeler poses with scanned mail-in ballots stored in a room at the York County Administration Center Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. The room is equipped with a fire suppression system. Bill Kalina photo

York County voters can expect to see improvements to how election results are reported by the November general election, according to county officials.

The York County Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a contract with SCYTL, a Florida-based voting technology company. The $64,569 contract will allow the company to handle reporting results in real time while county personnel focus on other aspects of the election, said county spokesperson Mark Walters.

Under the current system, IT and elections staff must take the data from voting machines and then update a PDF file on the county website.

"It's a mad house, because we have people who need to be doing other things instead of that," Walters said. "This essentially lets someone else do that."

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In addition to taking the workload off  county employees on election night, SCYTL's services also include real-time online visualizations of electoral results, according to its website.

The county decided to look into improving its election reporting process after the November presidential election, which Walters said put the county in "an intense situation."

York County in November saw a record-breaking turnout of 74.8%. Turnout was bolstered by the fact that voters could mail in ballots for any reason — a process that also delayed results.

An example of what York County voters can expect to see once a Florida-based company takes over election results reporting for the county. SCYTL's software is also used in Westmoreland County.

“We had the presidential election, and we kind of saw maybe our website wasn’t as accurate and up to date as it could’ve been,” Vice President Commissioner Doug Hoke said.

It is unclear whether the county's election reporting makeover will be implemented by the May 18 primary, but it will be in place by the November election, Walters said. The contract covers five years of service.

An example of the software, which is utilized by Westmoreland County, can be found here.

Along with new voting results software, the county is getting a complete overhaul of the county's website. 

Commissioners on Wednesday unanimously approved a contract with CivicPlus, a Kansas-based website development company. The contract will cost $59,779 for the first year.

“Both the county’s website and election reporting processes are in need of improvement, and we feel these companies will help us deliver important information to our residents in a more user-friendly and timely manner,” President Commissioner Julie Wheeler said in a statement.

There is no date setfor when the new website will go online.

— Logan Hullinger can be reached at lhullinger@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.