Montco taking steps to improve the way they count votes for the fall

He said the feedback they got when they first switched to the new voting machines was helpful.

“We absolutely utilized it to make changes that were well received,” Soltysiak said. 

Soltysiak said they’re looking for poll workers for the fall as one of the main reasons they had to consolidate polling places for the primary was because they didn’t have enough poll workers during the pandemic.

The county received about 126,000 mail-in ballots, slightly more than in-person ballots cast, he added. 

In an effort to speed up the counting process, the county has approved contracts for equipment that will help open envelopes and sort ballots.

And because mail-in voting is so popular with the pandemic, he explained that the equipment is hard to get, so now is the time to start ordering.

He also added state law prohibits opening ballots until election day, and he supports proposed legislation that would let them at least start opening and sorting ballots in the days leading up to the election.

“That would obviously allow us to have the results of the election much closer to election night than we would otherwise,” Soltysiak said.