General Election Information

When are Elections Held

Primary elections are held on the third Tuesday of May, except in Presidential years when it is held on the fourth Tuesday of April. 

Municipal/General elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. 

County, township and borough elections are held in odd numbered years.

National, state and party elections are held in even numbered years. 

Pennsylvania has a closed primary which means that you cannot vote unless you are a member of one of the major political parties.  

EXCEPTION: A voter that is registered with a minor political party may vote for a referendum question during a spring primary election if one appears on the ballot.

Election Officers

All elections shall be conducted in each of the County's seventy-five (75) election districts by an election board consisting of a judge of election, a majority inspection of election, a minority inspector of election and two clerks. 

All election officers shall be qualified registered electors of the district in which they are elected or appointed. 

All election officers receive compensation for their duties based on voter turnout.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:  If you or someone you know would be interested in serving on your local election board, please contact the Franklin County Commissioners' Office at (717) 261-3810 or by email.   

Election Results

Election results are available on this website or by contacting the Franklin County Election Board at (717) 261-3810. 

Procedures for Voting a Paper Ballot in Franklin County

When going to the polls to vote, Franklin County voters will be voting on optical scan paper ballots using the following procedures unless they are visually impaired.  When going to the polls to vote, do not wear any campaign material that is exposed.  You will be asked to remove it. 

1. Register with election officials, sign poll book and receive your ballot(s) along with a secrecy cardboard sleeve. 

2. Enter the voting booth 

3. Using the ink pen provided, mark your selection by filling in the oval to the left of the candidate choice. 

4. Do not vote for more than the authorized number of candidates.  Voting for more than the allowed number of candidates of any office will constitute an over vote, and no vote will count for that office. 

5. Should you damage the ballot or mistakenly mark a choice, return your ballot to the election officials and obtain a new ballot. 

6. If you wish to write in the name of a candidate not appearing on the ballot, write in the name of the person you wish to vote for in the space provided at the end of the list of office candidates and fill in the oval to the left of the write-in name you entered. 

7. After marking your selections, place the ballot into the secrecy sleeve so that the stuf appears at the bottom of the sleeve.  Instructions for removing the stub from your ballot will be provided by a poll official. 

8. Deposit your completed ballot in the Precinct Counter. 

9. Your vote has now been officially cast unless an audio alert sounds indicating an overvoted ballot, a blank ballot, a ballot with the stub still on or a torn ballot.  If one of these instances occur, please see a poll official for assistance.  

10. At the close of election day, all voted ballots and PC cards from the Precinct Counters will be returned to the County Board of Elections in Chambersburg where the results will be tabulated.   

For information on voting in Franklin County, you may watch an online demo and instructional video on voting an optical scan  ballot using a M100 Precinct Counter at the this website.

You can also find additional election information on the SURE Public Portal at http://www.pavoterservices.state.pa.us   

First-time Voters Provisions

As a result of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), if you are voting in an election district for the first time, you will be asked to present an approved form of identification before you sign the poll book.

Approved forms of identification include:

• Photo Identification (must be valid):

• PA Driver's License or ID Card issued by PennDOT 

• ID issued by the U.S. Government  

• ID issued by any Commonwealth of Pennsylvania agency  

• U. S. Passport  

• U. S. Armed Forces ID  

• Student ID or Employee ID  

Non-Photo Identification (must include your name and address):   

• Voter Identification Card issued by the Voter Registration Commission 

• Non-Photo ID issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania  

• Non-Photo ID issued by the U.S. Government  

• Firearm Permit  

• Current bank statement  

• Current utility bill  

• Current paycheck  

• Government check 

Once you have provided approved identification, you will be asked to sign your name in the poll book and be allowed to vote if the signature is found to be authentic.  If you are unable or unwilling to provide one of the above forms of ID, then you may vote by a provisional ballot. 

Overvoting a Ballot

What is an Overvote?

An overvote occurs when an indiviaul indecates on his/her ballot a vote for more candidates than the number of candidates for which an individual is permitted to vote for a particular office.

Does the optical Precinct Counters address Overvoted Ballots?

Yes, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires that a voter be notified if they have overvoted their ballot prior to casting their ballot so that they have the opportunity to correct their overvote.  When a voter places their ballot into the Precinct Counter with an overvote, the counter will produce an audio alert and indicate on the LCD screen that an overvote has occurred.  At this point the voter has the choice to "Accept" their ballot as is or push "Return" to retrieve their ballot back for correction. 

What is the Result of an Overvoted Ballot that is "Returned" by the Precinct Counter?

When the voter selects "Return" on the Precinct Counter's LCD screen, the ballot will be returned to the voter without any votes being counted.  The voter will then need to present their overvoted ballot to the election officials to be spoiled and ask for a new ballot. 

What is the Result of an Overvoted Ballot this is "Accepted" by the Precinct Counter?

When a voter overvotes for a particular office, all of the votes cast by that voter for the overvoted office are CANCELLED.  

For example, the office of Commissioners on the Municipal Election ballot states to "Vote for NOT MORE THAN TWO" although there are three candidates actually elected.  If you mark the oval to the left of the three candidates for County Commissioner, you have overvoted and none of the candidates wil receive a vote.  

This will not cause your entire ballot to be cancelled, just the votes for the office of County Commissioner. 

How do you avoid an Overvote?

Be sure to read the voting instructions on the ballot before voting.

If you inadvertently vote for more than the allowed number of candidates for a particular office, ask for a new ballot. 

Undervoting a Ballot

What is Undervoting?

Undervoting should not be confused with overvoting.  A voter undervotes when they cast fewer votes for a particular office than is permitted to cast.  NO BALLOT OR VOTE WILL BE CANCELLED AS A RESULT OF AN UNDERVOTE.  Also, the Precinct Counters are not programmed to detect and notify voters when it encounters a ballot that is undervoted. 

If you are confused as to whether you have overvoted or undervoted, please do not hestitate to ask for instructions from an elections officer. 

Provisional Voting Procedures

What is Provisional Voting?

Provisional voting is a new voting process that ensures that registered voters are not denied the right to vote because they are not listed in the district poll book, or are unable to provide approved identification when required.

County election officials will begin to examine the provisional ballots no later than seven (7) days after the election to determine whether the individual voting that ballot was entitled to vote at the election district in that election. 

What is a Provisional Ballot?

A provisional ballot is a paper ballot that is printed in the same format as other paper ballots except on green paper.  Provisional ballots are returned unopened in the proper security envelopes to the County Board of Elections, who has the responsibility to determine in a public meeting whether the provisioanl voter was qualified to vote.   

Who may Vote by Provisional Ballot?

Individuals are to be provided the opportunity to cast a provisional ballot if:

• The individual appears to vote and claims to be properly registered and eligible to vote in the election district, but the election official cannot verify their registration. 

• The individual does not have an approved form of identification the first time they appear to vote in an election district. 

• An election official asserts that the individual is not eligible to vote. 

• The voter is voting as a result of a federal or state court order.

How do I know if my Provisional Ballot Counted?

Within seven (7) days after the election, the County Board of Elections will begin to examine the provisional ballot to determine the validity of your completed provisional ballot.  

At least seven (7) days after the election, using the information provided to you on the provisional ballot identification receipt given to you at your polling place, call 1-877-VOTES-PA or visit http://www.votespa.com.  Provide your provisional ballot identification number.  You will be told whether your provisional ballot was counted, you will be told why your provisional ballot was not counted.