Some changes became effective in 2020. We now record our votes on paper ballots, which are then recorded by a scanner. The changes were in response to Pennsylvanians' requests to use paper ballots, so the votes could be recounted more accurately.
In 2020 the legislature made it possible to vote by mail without having to provide a reason for not actually going to the polls. With the need to maintain social distance now, this could be a great alternative. Apply for your mail-in ballot at www.VotesPA.com.
There has been much discussion lately about fraudulent ballots, people voting multiple times, and not having a paper trail to verify votes. Here is an explanation of why voter fraud is not an issue in Patterson Heights.
When the scanner is opened and set up the morning of the election, it is attached to a printer, which creates a "zero tape," a paper tape which shows the current total for each race on the ballot at the time the machines are opened. The totals are all zeroes, the zero tapes are printed, and attached to the walls in the polling place.
Each voter first stops at a table, where one of the elected inspectors finds the voter's name in a binder, showing that the voter has previously registered to vote. The voter signs his name next to the printed name. The next person at the table assigns a number to that particular voter, and writes the voter's name in a book next to the number. The third person at the table again finds the voter's name on a list of registered voters, and records the name and number in yet another book.
The voter is then handed a paper ballot, which he completes by blackening circles next to the candidates' names. The voter then inserts the ballot into the scanner, which collects the ballot, and records the votes.
At the end of the day, the scanner is put through a shut-down process in which the votes are tabulated, and recorded onto a memory card. New paper tapes are printed with election results, and these tapes are once again posted. The memory card is removed from the scanner, placed in a special pouch, and returned to the election officials at the Courthouse.
Absentee and mail-in ballots are opened and counted by the Election Bureau at the Courthouse according to a schedule set by the County Commissioners and the State. The scanner is picked up by county workers two or three days after the election. Remember that voting results have already been removed and submitted via the memory card. At no time is the scanner connected to the internet, and the scanner is not able to either submit or receive information from another source.
First day to circulate and file nomination petitions February 14
Last day to circulate and file nomination petitions March 7
First day to circulate and file nomination papers March 8
Last day to file objections to nomination petitions March 14
Last day for withdrawal by candidates who filed nomination petitions March 22
First day County Board of Elections may receive applications for mail-in
and civilian absentee ballots March 27
Last day to REGISTER before the primary May 1
Last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot May 9
Last day for County Board of Elections to receive mail-in and civilian
absentee ballots (by 8 p.m.) May 16
GENERAL PRIMARY May 16
First day to register after Primary May 17
Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted military and
overseas ballots (submitted for delivery no later than 11:59 P.M.
on May 17) May 23
Last day to circulate and file nomination papers August 1
Last day to file objections to nomination petitions August 8
Last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated by nomination papers August 8
Last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated at the primary August 14
First day County Board of Elections may receive applications for Mail-in
and civilian absentee ballots September 18
Last day to register before the November election October 23
Last day to apply for a mail-in or civilian absentee ballot October 31
Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted mail-in and
civilian absentee ballots (must be received by 8 P.M.) November 7
GENERAL ELECTION November 7
First day to register after November Election November 8
Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted overseas and
military ballots (submitted for delivery no later than 11:59 P.M.
on November 1 November 14
Note: All dates in this calendar are subject to change without notice.