York County set to move election operations to Pleasant Valley Road

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

Ahead of the May primary, York County is moving a substantial part of its election operations away from its administrative center in York City.

The county's election office will be relocated to 2401 Pleasant Valley Road, in Springettsbury Township, almost 4 miles away from its current location at 28 E. Market St. The move was set to take place Monday, according to the York County website.

The county will also move the Area Agency on Aging to the Pleasant Valley Road facility, which opened in 2020. Other operations on the new site include the Conservation District, the Department of Weights & Measures and Veteran Affairs.

"The move is part of a long-term plan to give us additional needed space in our downtown locations that began with the purchase and renovation of the (Pleasant Valley Road) building several years ago," Chief Clerk Greg Monskie said Friday.

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Elections Director Julie Haertsch did not respond to a request for comment.

Monskie said the move could assist those who need services.

"It can be very difficult and costly to find parking in the city, especially for our aging community members. The Pleasant Valley Road building has ample parking and we believe will make essential community services easier to access for all," Monskie said.

After a meeting Wednesday where the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a contract with Geo. W. Weaver and Son Inc. for moving services for more than $27,000, President Commissioner Julie Wheeler said the county's election operations will maintain a satellite location at the administrative center.

"We'll still have the ability for people to come in and conduct elections business if they need to in the city, but we will look to repurpose that space for other county departments," Wheeler said.

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Computation and tabulation will still take place at the administrative center, as required by law. Wheeler said ballots would then be stored in a secure location, though she did not disclose where that location was.

"All other business can be conducted out there," Wheeler said.

It's not immediately clear what will happen with the drop box for mail-in and absentee ballots that the county has used in previous elections. Wheeler said the county was still talking that over. She did not have an estimate on when the move would be complete.

The York County GOP and Democratic Party of York did not respond to requests for comment.

One York City resident spoke out against the move, claiming it could be a form of voter suppression and that he was surprised to hear about it.

"This prevents walk-in voters from accessing voter registration, no excuse mail-in ballots and other pertinent information," York City resident Ryan Supler said Friday. Supler is a Democratic State Committee member and ran for York City Council in 2021. "The new transition would require transportation to the new location, which is not entirely accessible to a community that is largely seen as economically disadvantaged."

A Rabbit Transit bus line stops near the Pleasant Valley Road facility.

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.