Shortage of Republican ballots in Centre County precincts sparks Primary Election concerns

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — In Centre County, a shortage of Republican ballots in some precincts has caused contest among voters.

A public meeting was held this afternoon at the Centre County Government offices in Bellefonte to discuss the votes.

Commissioner Michael Pipe said the shortage came from an error in the formula they use to calculate the number of ballots. While some precincts had a surplus of ballots, other Republican voters had to use absentee mail-in ballots.

This is something commissioners say has needed to be done in previous elections and occurred in other counties. However, Pipe said he takes full responsibility for the shortage.

13 people were in attendance for the meeting, with many calling the shortage “voter suppression” and sharing that after the 2020 election and now this shortage, they’ve lost their trust in the elections team. A handful called on the commissioners to resign, which Pipe said is not going to happen as he is committed to improving the process.

“I’ve been working to improve the process, but there are going to be mistake we’re going to make, this one is one, that is going to need a lot of work to rebuild the trust of voters who feel, felt like their voices weren’t heard and we did not have enough ballots,” said Commissioner Pipe. “I respect that, but there are things we can do to improve upon that.”

The public comments also mentioned concerns about training for poll workers, ballot boxes, and vote security.

“I’m not really questioning your ethics,” said Kris Eng, chair of the Centre County Republican Party. “I’m trying to trust that you are ethical and honest and that these are oversights that you’d be so, rather, un-inclusive.”

Approaching the general election, Commissioner Pipe said they may stop using this formula and calculate the amount of ballots based on the number of registered voters.

Ballots are still in the process of being counted and the commissioners have until Tuesday to certify the results.

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