WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — More than a week after Election Day, officials in Luzerne County now tell us they have moved on to the next step of counting after polling places ran out of paper.
Volunteers are transcribing hundreds of provisional ballots that were filled out by voters on photocopy paper when their proper ballot paper was gone. Then they will use the voting machines under election board supervision to transcribe these votes on proper ballots and the correct paper.
The next step will be for any provisional ballot filled out incorrectly to be reviewed by the election board to determine if it will be counted.
The Luzerne County Bureau of Elections could not give Newswatch 16 a clear answer on exactly how many provisional ballots need to be transcribed and counted, but to put it into perspective, the polling location at Harveys Lake alone had 500 ballots and dozens of polling locations experienced the paper shortage.
The voting process in Luzerne County is a two-step process. After you sign in at a polling place and your signature is verified, you are brought to one of many big screen machines. There, you push the candidates you want to vote for, click next, and continue.
You then review your choices and print a ballot with a QR-type code and your choices. That piece of paper then needs to be placed into a scanning machine for your ballot to be cast.
A specific weight of paper is vital for the voting process. At many polling places on Tuesday, the machines ran out of that paper before noon, and poll workers gave voters other ways to cast their ballots.