PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Voters are heading to the polls today for Pennsylvania’s general election.
They are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.
It is an off-year election with smaller, municipal, judicial and school board elections dominating the ballots. Two of the bigger races locally include Allegheny County District Attorney and Allegheny County Executive.
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In Allegheny County, officials say there have been a few issues since polling opened, including an odor of gas at a polling place in Clairton. The gas company was called to check out the situation, but voting has continued.
For voters in Armstrong, Beaver, Butler and Mercer counties, some changes are in place.
The Ambridge Borough Building is just one of many polling places in Beaver County. It’s also one where many are experiencing the new voting system.
“It’s important to vote every time. It’s my constitutional right to vote and I’m going to do it,” said Paul Ugoletti, who is voting in today’s election.
KDKA found out the reasons why people are voting in today’s election was the same.
“It’s an important thing for our democracy, and I just want to make sure that we get out here and vote. I raised both my kids to vote like this,” said Mark Schroeder, who is voting in today’s election.
But their thoughts on how they were voting, that was different.
For the first time, people at the Ambridge Borough Building are using a new voting system that has them filling out a paper ballot.
It’s a change that all polling places in Pennsylvania will have to make by Dec. 31 this year.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security made the requirement so that ballots can be checked and verified by election officials.
“It’s going backwards, instead of forwards. I like the electronic ballot better than the paper ballot,” said Ugoletti.
“It’s a little more, takes a little more time, but I think it’s supposedly more secure, so I’m all for that,” said Schroeder.
So far, 51 of the state’s 67 counties have voted to either buy or lease a new voting system.
Last week, state lawmakers approved $90 million to reimburse counties for voting machines that have a paper trail. It was part of bigger election reform signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf.