Questions linger about 74 ballots missing poll workers' signatures

Richard Mansberger
Jackson Township

York County recently certified its vote count. The following is an excerpt from a Nov. 29 York Dispatch article by Matt Enright titled “York County certifies vote amid legal challenge demanding recount”:

The one point of contention came from the county's rejection of 74 provisional ballots due to the lack of one or more signatures from poll workers. County Commissioner Doug Hoke, a Democrat, was the lone official who spoke in favor of approving those contested ballots.

"I asked for this to be taken out because I plan on voting against this," Hoke said. "I don't think in my mind it's a reasonable way to disenfranchise somebody who went to the poll, got a provisional ballot and completed their portion correctly."

In response, President Commissioner Julie Wheeler, who voted with Commissioner Ron Smith to reject the 74 ballots, noted that the statute requires those ballots be rejected.

From left, Virginia Shultz, of York Township, speaks to York County Commissioner Ron Smith, President Commissioner Julie Wheeler and Vice President Commissioner Doug Hoke after the final certification of votes cast on Election Day during the York County Election Board Meeting at York County Administrative Center in York City, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022.  Dawn J. Sagert photo

York County certifies vote amid legal challenge demanding recount

York County unveils 2023 budget: Will there be a tax increase?

My questions are:

1. How can it be that poll workers do not sign provisional ballots?

2. To what political party did the poll workers involved belong and did that affect their decision not to sign?

3. To what political party did the voters, whose provisional ballots were discarded, belong and was that a factor in the poll workers' decision not to sign?

4. Since Commissioners Julie Wheeler and Ron Smith are both Republicans, was that a factor in their decision to reject the ballots?

It seems to me that if a voter went to the trouble of asking for a provisional ballot, poll workers would automatically be attuned to the requirements of both voter and poll workers, such that missing poll worker signatures would be more likely errors of commission rather than omission.

I don't know how to find the answers to these questions and thought maybe investigative reporting by York Dispatch could shed some light.