Ballot Issues Cause Delays As Bucks Waits For Election Results

Polls, vote
A Real Clear Ballot voting machine. Photo via Bucks County.

More than twelve hours after polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Bucks County still does not have unofficial primary election results. Additionally, an election day decision from a judge and issues with in-person voting are part of the reason for the delay.

The last update from the county is 11:39 p.m. Tuesday night with about 30,000 ballots cast.

Incomplete unofficial results are available here. The county will update the website as ballots are counted. County totals begin on page 650 of 701.

The most closely watched races are to see who will be nominees for Congress in November.

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick has a lead of 56 percent to Republican challenger Andy Meehan’s 43 percent. Ivyland’s Christina Finello has a more solid lead with a 54 point margin over business owner Skylar Hurwitz.

But these numbers are subject to change wildly.

County employees are spending the most time counting mail-in and absentee ballots. More than 114,000 people applied for these ballots as of Monday, dwarfing current totals.

As a result, neither Fitzpatrick or Finello have declared victory.

Election Changes and Issues:

Bucks County Common Pleas Judge James McMaster approved the county’s request to extend the date to county mail-in ballots until June 9th. McMaster made the decision near the end of the day, just hours before polls closed.

Problems at the polls created issues as well. Voters encountered ballots that were slightly too large for the new Real Clear Ballot system.

Reliance Graphics, a printing vendor certified by Real Clear, issued the ballots. Some were a “fraction of an inch” too large for the voting machines’ scanners. Jack Armstrong, vice president of Reliance Graphics, apologized and said the pandemic had made preparing for the election more difficult.

“We apologize to any voter who was inconvenienced, and to the staff of the County Board of Elections for any headaches we may have caused today.”

This slowed in-person voting. But county officials say there are back up measures in place to ensure their votes will count.

“There was no way for us to know this would be an issue until today,” said Commissioner Chair Diane Ellis-Marseglia Tuesday. “The vendor the County is under contract with to supply paper, Reliance Graphics, has apologized and I appreciate that they took responsibility. If for any reason your ballot was not able to be scanned at your polling place, it WILL be scanned and counted at the Board of Elections in Doylestown.”