Pa. state Senate special election: Everything you need to know before you vote

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Voters in Lebanon, York and Dauphin counties will be heading to the polls Tuesday to decide who should replace former State Sen. Mike Folmer. 

Folmer resigned in September after being arrested on child pornography charges. Lebanon County District Attorney Dave Arnold is running for his seat on the Republican ticket, against Democrat Michael Schroeder, a history professor at Lebanon Valley College.

The 48th Senate District encompasses all of Lebanon County and slivers of Dauphin and York counties, including Mount Wolf, the York County borough where Gov. Tom Wolf lives. It also includes Springettsbury Township and other northeastern area York County municipalities.

Arnold and Schroeder differ greatly on key issues, including gun control, marijuana legalization and property taxes. Read more about Arnold’s positions here, and Schroeder’s here.

Lebanon County’s elections director Michael Anderson said last week that they are not anticipating a large turnout.

As of Friday, roughly 350 people had requested absentee ballots. In the November election – where overall turnout was just under 29 percent, 800 people requested absentee ballots – Anderson said. 

“I told poll workers to bring something to keep them busy,” Anderson said. 

Background on Michael Schroeder: Pa. state senate special election: Here’s why Michael Schroeder is running for office

Background on Dave Arnold: Special election: Who is Republican candidate Lebanon District Attorney Dave Arnold?

Other information to know if you vote:

Who can vote?

The 48th senate district includes all of Lebanon County, and the following municipalities in Dauphin and York counties:

Dauphin: Conewago Township, Londonderry Township, Lower Swatara Township, Swatara Township, Highspire, Middletown, Paxtang, Royalton and Steelton. 

York: Conewago Township, East Manchester Township, Newberry Township, Springettsbury Township, Goldsboro, Lewisberry, Manchester, Mount Wolf and York Haven. 

Polling places

York: There are several polling place changes in York: 

East Manchester Township residents will vote at 41 Harding St., Manchester, which is the Northeastern School District administration building. Previously, the polling place for that area was at Starview UCC. 

Lewisberry Borough residents will vote at Lewisberry Community Fire Company at 105 West Front St., Lewisberry. The previous polling place was at the Lewisberry Park building. 

Lebanon: No changes to polling places.

Dauphin No changes to polling places

Polling machines

Dauphin: This will be the last election that voters in Dauphin County will be using the old electronic voting machines. To comply with a state mandate, the county will have to implement paper-based machines by the presidential primary this spring.  

Lebanon: All precincts will have the new ballot machines for the special election. Voters will have the choice between using a “ballot-marking device,” which functions similarly to the old, electronic machines, or using a pen to mark the ballot by hand. All voters will then have to enter their ballots into a scanning machine separate from the ballot-marking device. 

York: After issues with the new paper-based voting machines during the November municipal election caused long lines in some precincts, the county will be hoping to avoid any problems on Tuesday. There will be two scanners at all township precincts and one at all borough polling places, according to York County spokesman Mark Walters. 

More: York County has a new elections director eager to solve challenges with new ballot system

Election Results

All three counties will be updating their results throughout the night Tuesday. Follow along at ldnews.com and on our Facebook page for updates. 

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