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 voting machines are opened and set up the morning of the election, they are attached to 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 next moves to one of the voting machines, which has been reset with a fresh ballot. After the choices are made, the voter must then push a button to cast the ballot, and touch the screen to confirm the vote.
At the end of the day, the machines are 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 cards are removed from the machines, placed in a special pouch, and returned to the election officials at the Courthouse.
After the voting machines have been closed, members of the election team check the absentee ballots for accuracy, and that they have been submitted correctly in signed envelopes. The ballots are shuffled (so it can't be determined who voted for whom), opened, and recorded just as all the other voters were.
Once everything is placed in its proper pouch or bag, it is all returned to the Beaver County Courthouse right away. The election team is glad to see the end of their long day!
In order to vote by Absentee Ballot, you must be a registered voter, (unless you are a member of the Armed Forces or a hospitalized or bedridden veteran outside your county of residence). You must also either be:
Applications for Absentee Ballots are available at the Beaver County Elections Bureau, Beaver County Courthouse, 810 Third Street, Beaver, PA, 15009. For more information you may call 724-770-4440. Regular office hours are 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.
You may also obtain an application from the VotesPA.com Web site. There you may download, print, complete, sign and send the form to:
Bureau of Elections
Beaver County Courthouse
810 Third Street
Beaver, PA 15009
Upon receipt and approval of the completed Absentee Ballot application, the Elections Bureau will then mail the Absentee Ballot as soon as it is printed.
For fastest results, personally visit the Elections Bureau and complete an application. If you are properly registered and ballots have been printed, you may cast your ballot in the Elections Office.
Completed Absentee Ballot applications must be received in the Bureau of Elections Office no later than 5 P.M., on the Tuesday prior to the Primary or Election, October 30.
It is strongly suggested that you secure, complete and return your Absentee Ballot application as soon as possible. This will provide sufficient mailing time for us to receive and process your application, mail your ballot, and allow you to vote and return your ballot by the deadline.
All voted Absentee Ballots must be received in the office of the Elections Bureau no later than 5 P.M., on the Friday prior to the Primary or Election (November 2) in order to be counted.
All voted Absentee Ballots must be sent by mail or express or overnight mail (which includes DHL, FedEx and UPS, for example) or delivered IN PERSON by the absentee ballot voter. Voted absentee ballots returned by any other means will not be accepted or counted by the Bureau of Elections.
Disabled voters may designate another person to assist in obtaining and delivering their absentee ballot. More information and the necessary form(s) or application(s) for this voting option may be obtained on the Pennsylvania Department of State’s Web site.
United States Senator
Representative to the U.S. House
Representative to the General Assembly
The Ladies Auxiliary will be supplying the goodies. Check with Fran Levinger if you would like to donate some baked items.