Luzerne County officials take steps to ensure a secure general election

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/YOU) — The November general election is less than a month away and Luzerne County election officials say they are taking steps to ensure there are no issues with the elections process this time around.

Those issues, which include problems with military ballots and mislabeling electronic ballots, are documented and many want to know what is being done to regain the trust of the voters.

Some voters say they understand mistakes can be made, while others say when it comes to their vote, there is no room for error.

“Get their act together. At the present time, it doesn’t seem like they know what they are doing,” Craig White explained.

White is a resident of Wilkes-Barre and says he is watching very closely what is being done to ensure there are no problems in the election process in November.

“It’s going to take time. I don’t think a lot of people have confidence right now,” White said.

That’s because there have been seemingly non-stop problems in the process. In November of 2020, nine military ballots were tossed into the garbage. A federal investigation found no criminal wrongdoing.

During the May primary election, electronic ballots were mislabeled and human error was to blame.

Now, county officials say they are putting on a full-court press to prevent any potential problems moving forward, including more training for election workers and the hiring of a consulting firm to advise the election bureau.

Tim McGinley is chairman of the county council.

“I think the election bureau is doing everything positive to improve the public image of the elections and improve the trust factor of the elections,” said McGinley.

The I-Team asked Luzerne County election officials about concerns regarding mail-in ballot drop boxes. Questions are being raised by what appears to be a person dropping in more than one mail-in ballot at a Lackawanna County drop box.

“People have to know if you need someone else to assist you in voting there is an affirmation that needs to be completed. You can get that affirmation online,” said Romilda Crocamo, Acting Luzerne County Manager.

Luzerne County drop boxes will be placed in locations that have video surveillance.

“So, yes you can drop off more than one ballot if they are taking one for someone else,” explained Eryn Harvey, Elections Bureau Deputy Director. “But, they have to have a form. If they don’t, then no, they can only drop off one ballot in the drop box.”

The investigation into the Lackawanna County ballot drop box incident is ongoing. Luzerne County election officials also say they are in need of poll workers.

For more information on please visit the Luzerne County Bureau of Election.

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