Northwestern Press

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
ABOVE: After the poll closed in New Tripoli, John Rauch delivered the scanner along with a container holding all of the ballots to the county.PRESS PHOTOS BY ANNA GILGOFF ABOVE: After the poll closed in New Tripoli, John Rauch delivered the scanner along with a container holding all of the ballots to the county.PRESS PHOTOS BY ANNA GILGOFF
LEFT: As in the last few years, Susan Christ registered voters with an electronic poll book. LEFT: As in the last few years, Susan Christ registered voters with an electronic poll book.

Paper ballot provides security, judge of elections says

Friday, November 8, 2019 by ANNA GILGOFF Special to The Press in Local News

Voters used paper ballots to cast their votes on Election Day and the process could very well be a time saver for those manning the polls while increasing the safety of the votes.

“The paper ballot gives us security,” said John Rauch, judge of election for the Lynn Township New Tripoli polling station at the fire company.

“This is one of the bigger [voting] sectors in this area.”

Voters appeared comfortable with the paper ballot, which made this year a type of test run for next year’s presidential election.

All Pennsylvania counties have been mandated to use paper ballots by 2020.

The clerks said educating voters ahead of the presidential election next year was imperative.

“A lot of people didn’t have their glasses,” said Susan Christ, one of the minority clerks signing in voters.

This posed a problem for some voters when it came to manually marking small ovals to indicate their choices on a two-sided paper ballot.

This year served to alert voters of key changes.

“Next year will likely be an election like we’ve never seen,” Rauch predicted. “We have 1,732 registered voters at this polling place, and I expect 1,300 or 1,400 voters to cast their ballots [in 2020].”

Rauch said “somewhere around 400 voters” showed up on Election Day this year but next year certain changes will have to be made to accommodate the increased number.

“I like the new system,” Christ said, as she checked in the voters. “It’s going to save us a lot of time and work at the end of the night.”

Christ was able to find voters with a few clicks on the dedicated iPads.

“Instead of having to look up names in an election poll book,” she said.

Before Election Day, the fire company was contacted by the county.

“Some of the equipment was here and for some of it I had to go to precinct central Saturday morning and pick it,” Rauch said.

After the polls closed, Rauch delivered the scanner holding the paper ballots to the county.

A recount of all votes was mandated for Northampton County because of problems with that county’s voting machines.