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York County ballot recount produces same result as voting machines

  • Robby Brod
Election results certification is a nearly three-week process that will begins after polls close Tuesday, Nov. 8.

 Jessica Griffin / Philadelphia Inquirer

Election results certification is a nearly three-week process that will begins after polls close Tuesday, Nov. 8.

Ballots from three York County precincts were recounted by hand Thursday, at the request of Audit the Vote PA, a group that has spread misinformation about election fraud.

Last month, county commissioners met with the group.

President Commissioner Julie Wheeler agreed to the recount to increase trust in the electoral process.

“One of the core values of York County government is being transparent,” Wheeler said. “And this is just an example of us living up to that value. Walkin’ the talk and being transparent with our voters.”

Voting machines, primarily from Dominion Voting Systems, have become the subject of numerous debunked election fraud conspiracies. York County uses Dominion machines in all precincts and elections offices, including Dominion ImageCast Precinct, ImageCast X, ImageCast Central, and Democracy Suite EMS.

Wheeler said the recount was an inexpensive way to increase public trust in elections.

“There’s some time associated with the staff to do it, but certainly this isn’t going to cost us a lot of money,” she said. “And we want to ensure the voters that their votes are being cast in the manner in which they wanted them to be cast in.”

Election experts say hand recounts are more prone to error and more time-consuming than using machines, which election security officials say are already accurate and secure.

The county categorized precincts by size (city, township, and borough) and drew one randomly this morning from each category. The three precincts selected were in York City, West Manchester Township, and Jacobus Borough.

Election staff spent four hours sorting close to 2,000 ballots from the Senate and governor’s races by candidate, hand-counting them, and then running them through a voting machine for confirmation.

After four hours, the recount produced the same unofficial numbers reported on Election Day. State law now requires York County to certify those numbers with a risk-limiting audit.

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