The judge of elections has final say at polling places, following an amendment approved Wednesday by the Adams County Board of Elections.
The board of elections is normally comprised of the county commissioners, but this year Commissioner Marty Qually rescinded his role because he is running for state representative in the 91st District. Adams County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Michael George named Vickie Corbett of Franklin Township to replace Qually.
Corbett joined Adams County Commissioners Randy Phiel and Jim Martin for the meeting Wednesday morning.
The amendment related to local election districts and clarified the roles of the judge of elections and constables, according to Adams County Solicitor John Hartzell.
"There was some confusion. We think this will add some clarity," Hartzell said Wednesday.
The judge of elections has final say over what occurs at a polling place, Hartzell said, noting the county has never had a challenge with the policy or procedure "until questions in the fall."
Phiel said constables have "a historic role" attending the polls "and making sure everything is under control."
Phiel said another part of the constable's job is to stand at the end of the line at 8 p.m. on election day to ensure voters in line get to cast their ballots.
"As a constable, you have a certain demeanor and certain things you can and can't do," Phiel said. "We wanted to clarify that a bit more."
The Pennsylvania Code of Elections was last amended in 1937. According to the Pennsylvania Code of Elections, a judge of elections has the power to supervise students serving as clerks or machine inspectors, keep order in the voting room, allow poll watchers to inspect voting checklists, challenge an elector's proof of identification, and sign a provisional ballot cast by somebody claiming to live in the district and eligible to vote but not on the voter roll.
A constable or his or her deputy is in charge of making sure voters have access to the polling place, assisting the judge of elections in keeping order in the polling room and delivering an emergency absentee ballot as ordered by the judge of elections.
The board of elections met after the commissioners' meeting Wednesday morning.
Commissioners approved sub-recipient agreements for the 2016 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
The agreements included: $131,124 for Possum Valley Municipal Authority toward waterline replacements in Aspers, $75,000 for Tyrone Township toward installation of a screening device for the sewer, $10,000 for the Adams County Arts Council toward the Eat Smart Play Hard program, and $10,000 for the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County toward the senior citizen fitness program scholarships.
The annual allotment from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development requires applicants to submit proposals that will either benefit low to moderate income citizens, remove slums or blight, meet an urgent community need or help the elderly or individuals with disabilities.
"We don't pull these out of a hat," Phiel said. "There are a multitude of rules and guidelines and standards for prioritizing."