PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s election is approaching and about 8.7 million people are registered to vote in the May 17 primary.
According to Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman, the commonwealth is prepared for the hotly-contested primary.
“Voters in Pennsylvania can be confident in the security and integrity of our election system,” said Secretary Chapman.
Despite assurances from the Department of State, 52% of registered voters are very or somewhat dissatisfied with how elections are conducted in Pennsylvania, according to a new Franklin and Marshall College Poll.
“We know our election law is sick,” said State House Republican Spokesman Jason Gottesman.
Despite calls for election reform, Governor Wolf vetoed a Republican-backed effort to institute voter ID requirements. Despite requests from all 67 counties, the state hasn’t allowed local boards of elections to start counting votes until the polls open at 7 a.m.
“It’s already a day where there’s a lot of stress and a lot of work going on,” said Chapman.
Republicans are still pushing back on ballot drop boxes, which will be available in just 22 counties during the primary.
“Drop boxes don’t exist in any Pennsylvania statute,” said Gottesman. “They are a creation of the courts. It’s not something that has gone through the deliberative legislative process.”
The Wolf Administration has encouraged counties to use drop boxes to increase accessibility for voters, but they have pushed back on having police monitor them, fearing voter intimidation.
“The mere presence of police at a dropbox can deter voters from casting their ballots,” said Chapman.
In an election where the Governor’s seat and a U.S. Senate seat are at stake, more than 850,000 mail-in ballots have been requested. Seventy-six percent of requests are from Democrats, according to Chapman.
The primary election is on May 17 and the polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The deadline to apply for mail-in or absentee ballots is May 10 at 5 p.m.