This report from on-the-scene Inquirer reporter Mari Schaefer:
Note to voters: Read the instructions.
When you fill out the ovals on your ballot, fill in the entire oval. Don’t do it half way. Be bold.
Don’t circle the oval. It is like the SAT tests, you are suppose to fill them in.
Don’t initial your ballot. It is suppose to be a secret. Remember?
There is no need to write in a candidate already listed on the ballot. It just confuses things.
And, never try to vote for both candidates. It doesn’t work. You have to decide on one.
Three of the 15 ballots challenged during yesterday’s recount in the race for the 156th District state House seat were withdrawn.
The remaining 12 were reviewed by Chester County Court Judge Howard F. Riley Jr. this morning. His rulings were consistent with how the voting machine tallied the ballots.
“There is no change,” said Thomas Whitman, a Chester County solicitor, on the total number of votes.
The recount continues today as election officials hand count almost 23,000 ballots for Republican Shannon Royer and Democrat Barbara McIlvaine Smith in a race separated by 23 votes.
At stake is the control of the state House.
The challenged ballots fell into similar categories. Voters who put dots or checks in the oval, voters who circled the oval, ballots where candidates names were put in the write-in area, voters who filled in both candidates, and ballots where the markings for other races looked different than those for the 156th District race.
A Pennsylvania court ruled the votes must be counted by December 26. There was optimism today that the vote count would be completed by early tomorrow.
Both sides are keeping a separate count of who is ahead.
“We’re almost hitting 30 [votes],” said Clifford Levine, an attorney for the Democrats. “It is getting to the point of an absolute landslide.”