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November 09, 2018
Election Security in Franklin County
Franklin County’s General Election was held on November 6, 2018 with a midterm record breaking 60 percent of registered voters participating. The Franklin County Election Board thanks each voter as well as each poll worker and County employee for another successful election. Franklin County has 75 polling places and approximately 400 poll workers who man the polls for 15 hours each Election Day and do a tremendous job processing voters through with a minimal wait time.
Franklin County has a very efficient and secure voting process. In 2006, Franklin County made the decision to stay with paper ballots and count them using a precinct counter in each polling place. A percentage of the paper ballots are then hand-counted for the required audit and, if necessary, for a recount, giving the voter certainty that their vote is counted.
Each ballot is numbered with a removable stub. This is necessary for control in accounting for all ballots. When the stub is removed and the ballot placed in the precinct counter, the ballot is unidentifiable. The reason for the ballot number is so that the Election Board can account for each voted ballot along with unused ballots, spoiled ballots and absentee ballots. This would prevent ballots from being “missing” or “lost.”
Franklin County voters can be confident that not only is their vote counted properly, their vote is also anonymous and secure. At no time is any part of the voting system connected to the internet for potential hackers to access. That said, the County also participates in a Homeland Security effort to assist counties in maintaining the highest level of cybersecurity possible. These steps are only a few of the security efforts our county is constantly taking to protect the fundamental basis of our democracy – free, fair and accurate elections.
Franklin County, along with the other 66 counties in Pennsylvania, is being faced with replacing our voting equipment prior to the 2020 Presidential Primary as a result of a mandate by Governor Wolf. While our voting equipment is twelve years old, it has performed extremely well. If required to replace our equipment, we will keep a paper ballot system very similar to what we currently use so we can continue to ensure the integrity, security and efficiency of the voting process in Franklin County.
For additional information on elections and voter registration, please visit the County’s website at www.franklincountypa.gov or contact the Franklin County Election Board at (717) 261-3810.
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