Everything York County voters need to know for Tuesday's primary elections
York County's primary elections are Tuesday, and The York Dispatch has everything residents need to know before they head to the polls.
Polling places are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and voters will be choosing November election candidates for not only school boards and municipal offices but also for the county board of commissioners and row offices.
Here is a list of some of the bigger races to look out for:
- Three open seats on the York County Board of Commissioners.
- York County Sheriff.
- Three York City Council seats.
- A judge on the Court of Common Pleas.
- Special election for the 33rd Senate District.
Since only Republicans are running for sheriff, the primary election could decide who will take the office, barring a successful write-in campaign. The same goes for the City Council seats, as only Democrats are running.
Tuesday's elections are closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans and Democrats can vote.
However, the 33rd Senate District race is an election, not a primary, so all registered voters can participate. The district includes Hanover as well as West Manheim and Penn townships. It also includes all of Adams County and part of Franklin County.
That election will decide who replaces Sen. Richard Alloway, who resigned in January.
Before you vote, here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
Where do I go to vote?
Your ward and precinct are marked on your voter registration card. Go to https://yorkcountypa.gov/voting-elections/polling-places.html to see where your polling place is, or check this up-to-date map of all of the county's polling places:
What will the ballot look like?
If you want to know what to expect the ballot to look like at your polling location, you can find it on the county's website, https://yorkcountypa.gov/voting-elections/2019-elec-info.html.
Do I need to bring any form of identification?
Some form of identification is required to vote in many states, but Pennsylvania is not one of them. However, those voting for the first time in their election district must show ID, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. Acceptable photo IDs include a state-issued driver's license, U.S. passport, military ID, student ID or any ID issued by a federal or state agency. Acceptable nonphoto IDs include a voter registration card, firearm permit, utility bill, bank statement or government check. If using a nonphoto ID, it must contain your address.
Can I wear clothing/accessories supporting candidates or parties?
Voters are allowed to wear things such as T-shirts, hats and pins that show support for candidates or parties, which is not the case in some other states.
What should I do if I feel I'm being intimidated at the polls?
It is illegal for any person or corporation to influence a voter through intimidation or coercion in the state, according to the Department of State. Anyone who feels intimidated at the polls is encouraged to contact the county board of elections at 717-771-9604 or to file a complaint through the department's website at www.votespa.com/Pages/default.aspx.
The only people allowed inside polling places are election officials, clerks, machine inspectors, certified poll watchers, residents in the process of voting, people legally giving assistance to voters and police officers. Those who do not fit into these categories must remain at least 10 feet away from the entrance.
Can someone challenge my right to vote?
Certain people can challenge a person's right to vote for certain reasons, according to the Department of State. A poll worker, certified poll watcher or another registered voter may challenge a voter on the grounds that they do not live in the precinct or are not who they say they are. A voter who is challenged may still vote, however, by signing a challenge affidavit and producing a witness to vouch for him or her. If your name is not included in the poll book and you believe this is a mistake, you can vote via a provisional ballot, which is a paper ballot that will be counted if it is determined that you were correct. Paper ballots are available at all county polling places as a backup in case the electronic machines malfunction for any length of time.
What if I need assistance because of a disability or have difficulty understanding English?
Assistance is allowed in Pennsylvania for voters who can't read or write, have difficulty understanding English, are blind or disabled or are unable to operate a voting machine, according to the department. Assistance may be requested of a friend, relative, neighbor or another voter, and you don't need to be designated as "assistance permitted" in your district's poll book to receive assistance. However, if you're not listed as "assistance permitted" in the book, you must sign an assistance declaration.
What if I'm having trouble with voting machines or other aspects of the voting process?
For some issues, simply speaking with the poll worker at your polling location would suffice. You also can call the York County Voting and Elections Office at 717-771-9604.
— Logan Hullinger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter at @LoganHullYD.