Here's who York County official notified of elections office shake-up — and how

Staff report
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 President Commissioner Julie Wheeler notified only the heads of the local Republican and Democratic parties of a pending a shake-up in the elections office. She did so in an email — time stamped at 10:08 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 14 — to Chad Baker, chair of the York County Democratic Party, and Jeff Piccola, York GOP chair. The email is below:

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Chairmen Piccola and Baker,

The York County Municipal Primary Election of May 18, 2021, had many successes but also some shortcomings. The most glaring issue was the shortage of election day ballots, both Republican and Democrat, and the inability to get mail-in (VBM)/absentee ballots out to voters in a timely fashion.

An analysis was completed, root causes attributing to the shortcomings were identified, and improvement plans have been implemented. The County does recognize that we need to have continual process improvements in how we handle our elections preparation and procedures to ensure an efficient and organized process for the voters of York County. We have hired a process implementation manager and will continue to keep our Elections Task Force in place for the foreseeable future. We have implemented additional layers of approval to several of our processes, helping to ensure details will not be overlooked. The significant increase in voter registration and voter turnout is encouraging, and we are committed to providing top-notch customer service to our voters.

Additionally, we have re-organized our Elections Department, and created two (2) Deputy Positions. A Deputy Director of Election Operations & Support, which will be filled by Annie Mendoza. And, a Deputy Director Voter Registration and Technology, which will be filled by Steve Ulrich. We will be posting a Director of Elections and Voting Registration Position in the near future. In the meantime, The York County Board of Elections will be providing direct oversight to the Elections Department. We believe this re-organization we allow us to function in an efficient and organized manner.

The Elections Department will be notified of the re-organization tomorrow, September 15, 2021, between 8:00 am – 8:30 am. We respectfully ask that you keep this information confidential, until that time. However, in the spirit of transparency, we wanted to give you advance notice, in case you received inquiries, you were not caught off guard. Additionally, we will not be making any public statements or issuing a press release regarding the re-organization. If asked, we will certainly respond. But, our goal is to keep making forward progress with our Elections Department, and keep distractions to a minimum. Thank you for your understanding.

Should you have any questions, please let me know.

Your in Service,

  Julie

Julie Wheeler, President Commissioner

County of York Administrative Center

28 E. Market Street

York, PA 17401