(WBRE/WYOU-TV) A movement is underway in Harrisburg for election reform. That reform would involve moving the Keystone State forward in technology–efficiency and cost savings for taxpayers by centralizing voting centers. The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick has the story.
On Tuesday, election workers were being trained to run Luzerne County’s 187 polling centers. Altogether 900 workers will monitor nearly 800 voting machines. All of that takes money- and manpower. Centralized voting centers would eliminate much of the expense
“It will allow an individual that lives in Hazleton City and works in Wilkes-Barre to go to vote center and vote their Hazleton ballot and not worry about getting back home at 8 o’clock when polls close.” Explained Marisa Crispell, Director of Luzerne County Election Bureau.
And that would be accomplished by setting up 7 or 8 voting centers..
“What there would be locations throughout the county where you can vote anywhere.” Said Dave Pedri, Luzerne County Manager
He added, “When you look at the amount of money it’s going to cost for new voting machines we’d be able to lower that cut it in half.“
All counties in Pennsylvania are mandated to upgrade their voting machines by 2020. That could cost Luzerne county taxpayers $4 million dollars.
“I’ve been for many reforms like no excuse absentee ballots or centralized voting districts. Any way we can make it easier for citizens to be empowered and vote in our elections we need to do that..” said Senator John Yudichak (D) Luzerne County
But some folks who work the polls have concerns.
“Always saving money is a good thing. If the polling places are going to be larger entities are they taking away the personal touch? My concerns are for the elderly and how are they going to get back and forth.” Noted Craig Hockman
Lawmakers are hopeful bills to centralize voting will pass.