Know before you go: York County ballots

David Weissman

With just two weeks until Election Day, the York County Board of Elections has posted sample ballots on its website to let residents preview how voting will look when they get in the booth Nov. 8.

York County Elections and Voter Registration Director Nikki Suchanic talks to poll workers about the card activator device during a training session at the Red Lion Area Senior Center in Red in 2015. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Sample ballots are broken down by municipality, but all local ballots include votes for the following positions: presidential electors, U.S. senator, state attorney general, state auditor general, state treasurer and representative in Congress for the 4th District.

For presidential electors, residents will have the option to choose between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence, Constitution Party candidates Darrell Castle and Scott Bradley, Green Party candidates Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, and Libertarian Party candidates Gary Johnson and William Weld.

Under U.S. senator, the options are Democrat Katie McGinty, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey and Libertarian Edward Clifford.

Voters can choose between Democrat Josh Shapiro and Republican John Rafferty for attorney general and from incumbent Democrat Eugene DePasquale, Republican John Brown, Green John Sweeney and Libertarian Roy Minet for auditor general.

Democrat Joe Torsella, Republican Otto Voit, Green Kirstin Combs and Libertarian James Babb are on the ballot under state treasurer, and Democrat Joshua Burkholder and Republican Scott Perry are the options for representative in Congress for the 4th District.

Voters are given the option to vote straight party at the beginning of their ballot, and they can vote for a write-in candidate for any of the positions available.

All ballots also will  include a proposed constitutional amendment asking voters to provide a yes or no response to the question: Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices of the Supreme Court, judges and magisterial district judges be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75 years?

The state constitution currently requires justices and judges to retire on the last day of the calendar year in which they turn 70.

Depending on each voter's municipality, residents also will  be able to cast their vote for their state representative and senator.

Races are contested in the 31st Senate District, 92nd House District, 95th House District and 169th House District.

During elections, York County uses the Sequioa AVC Edge electronic voting machine.

Nikki Suchanic, director of the county's elections office, said the county has used these machines since 2006, after the state ruled that the old lever machines no longer met requirements.

York County is the only one in the state to use these machines, but Suchanic said Montgomery and Northampton counties use other Sequoia models.

The exact model that York County uses also is  used statewide in Nevada and Louisiana, according to, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates for legislation and regulation that promotes accuracy, transparency and verifiability of elections.

Pam Smith, president of Verified Voting, said her organization has no issues with the model York County uses but does take issue with the lack of a paper trail.

The Sequioa AVC Edge does offer paper receipts in other states, but Pennsylvania does not provide voting receipts, and electronic machines leave no paper trail.

Smith said this practice could prove problematic in the event of a call for a recount because there won't be any physical record to confirm the numbers.

Smith said she believes Pennsylvania will likely look to replace these machines with paper ballots and improved scanners moving forward as other states, including Maryland and Virginia, have done.

Regardless, Smith said it's important that Pennsylvania voters don't feel discouraged.

"The only way to ensure your vote isn't counted is not showing up," she said.

Suchanic said York County has never had any problems reported with the machines, which are federally certified, and would continue to use them unless the state or federal government changes its requirements.

— Reach David Weissman at or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.