Voting

Megan Preston votes at the Bradford Township Community Club Tuesday evening, assisted by daughters Sadie, 4 and Anna, 6. The new voting machines, also seen here, were used at all locations Tuesday, with few issues.

The turnout within Bradford City limits was better than expected, and despite new machines, election day ran smoothly.

Meanwhile, in the townships, voting was on par for a local election.

“Things are going well,” said Lisa Pratt, director of elections, on Tuesday afternoon. “In Bradford Township 2nd district, they had to have a machine replaced. We think it was the scanner, and we are looking into that. We took them another machine, and they are still moving along.”

Pratt noted that, other than that, there were a few bumps in the road in the morning but otherwise the day seemed to be progressing as expected.

“There was a minor issue with the new machines,” Pratt said. She explained that, with the way the cords were stored, it appeared the machines were plugged in. They weren’t. After running on battery power for some of the voting, some locations found the issue and resolved it to keep the machines running smoothly.

These “learning curve issues” were to be expected with new machines, and there was no significant impact to the voting process at any location, she said.

James Belardia, Judge of Elections explained that, according to his records, four years ago Bradford City, Third Ward, Second District, located at the Church of the Nazarene, had 149 voters for the day. During Tuesday’s election, they had 147 voters as of 5 p.m. and were expecting more voters during the after work/after dinner timeframe. Final results had a total of 194 votes when polls closed.

“Any contest for mayor brings out people to vote,” said Belardia. “It’s been steady all day, even in the rain. People wanted to vote.”

Belardia also noted that a common question this year is how to do write-in votes.

Meanwhile, the Bradford City, Sixth Ward, First District at Asbury Methodist Church on East Main Street reported a higher than expected turnout of 206 voters, while Bradford City, Sixth Ward, Second District at G. Carlton Ritchie Hall on East Main reported a total of 180 voters, which was also a higher than normal turnout.

Township residents exercised their right to vote as well.

Bradford Township, Second District at the Bradford Township Community Club saw 357 voters as of 5 p.m., with more expected and a line that kept refreshing as the election officials helped voters at each of the three voting machines.

It was a very good turnout for the district, per election officials. Despite issues earlier in the day with one of the first three voting machines set up, the rest of the day went smoothly for the busy polling location.

The Foster Township, 2nd District polling location at Sawyer Evangelical Church reported having 66 voters as of 1:30 p.m. Election officials said there had been a steady flow of voters through the day so far, and they were expecting a large group of after-work voters as well.

Checks with election officials in Norwich Township, Keating Township’s First District and Smethport Borough late Tuesday afternoon found that voting had been “steady” all day.

By 4:53 p.m., 107 voters had cast their ballots at the Norwich Township Volunteer Fire Department in Crosby.

In Keating Township’s First District polls at the township offices in East Smethport, 223 voters had turned out by 5:07 p.m. An election official there said that he expected that number to eventually reach the high 200s.

Before 5:30 p.m. 355 residents had voted in Smethport at the firehall.

(Era Correspondent Fran De Lancey contributed to this story.)

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