Luzerne County manager proposes paper ballots for in-person voting June 2

Times Leader

By Jennifer Learn-Andes

April 28, 2020

Polling place consolidation

The number of voting locations also will be reduced from 144 buildings to an estimated 58 “well-ventilated, larger buildings” to alleviate concerns about proper social distancing and polling place and poll worker shortages, Pedri said.

A breakdown of the 58 polling locations he envisions: 21 new ones, possibly schools; 32 existing ones that already are large enough; and expansion at five current locations to accommodate additional wards. He stressed more may be added if needed.

Vote by mail

Attempting to reduce in-person voting, the county will send mail-in ballot applications to all registered Democrats and Republicans, likely on Friday, Pedri said. The mailing will include a self-addressed, stamped return envelope, with the expense funded by the state under the plan.

Approximately 20,000 voters already have applied for mail-in ballots, which the county started mailing on Monday, he said. The county now has 184,308 residents eligible to vote in the primary to date — 104,949 Democrats and 79,359 Republicans, the latest statistics from Monday show. Only voters in these two parties can vote on June 2 because Pennsylvania has closed primaries.

Nearly 11% have requested mail-in ballots so far based on the latest statistics. The deadline for registered voters to apply for mail-in ballots is 5 p.m. May 26.

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