WILKES BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Voters braved the early morning chill Tuesday as the headed to the polls in what many are calling the most historic general election in the past 60 years.
Many polling places reported long, early morning lines – often extending around buildings and corners as voters waited for the polls to open at 7 a.m..
Secretary of State Pedro Cortes told Eyewitness News during a live interview at 6:30 a.m. he’s anticipating a turnout of 80% or more of the state’s 8.7 million registered voters. He says a number that high has not been seen at Commonwealth polls since 1992 when, ironically, Bill Clinton squared off against George H.W. Bush.
Some polling locations in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties reported early glitches or technical problems as poll workers got into the swing of assisting those casting ballots.
In Pittiston, one voter said he had cast a presidential ballot for Republican Donald Trump for president but when he went to submit his electronic ballot he saw rival Democrat Hillary Clinton’s name. Similar problems were reported from polling stations in Rock Glen, Drums and Butler Township. Poll workers resolved the problem,
In West Wyoming, another polling location reported several of its machines weren’t working because of a power problem prior to the doors opening. Only two of five machines were operational initially, however that problem was quickly resolved as well.
The Luzerne County Elections Solicitor Mike Butera ells Eyewitness News that they’ve had about a dozen of the name flipping problem, that some of the problems can be attributed to voters not being familiar with the electronic voting machines and/or some minor programming problems..
Butera says all those noticing the problem brought it to the attention of election officials at the polling place, and in all cases the voter’s correct ballot was cast, and to their knowledge no one had a miscast ballot.
He, and other election officials urge people to carefully review their ballots before hitting the final “submit” button to officially cast their ballot.
Concerns about voting security have been raised for weeks as Trump rallied against what he called a “rigged” election system.
Cortes told Eyewitness News “it is unfortunate that it has been some of the talk of this election. Pennsylvania has a very good history of running elections that are fair, that are smooth, that you can trust. Elections are not perfect, but they are legitimate and there’s no basis to substantiate those claims. It’s important for voters to know that our machines in Pennsylvania are not connected to the internet, they’re not even connected to each other.”
The polls close at eight o’clock this evening.