EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) – The polls open for the Primary Election in just a few hours, and election integrity is again on the line.
The Luzerne County Bureau of Elections is making final preparations before the polls open Tuesday morning.
The voting machines are in place and the poll worker equipment is out. The last of Luzerne County’s voting machines were delivered in Pittston Monday morning at the polling location on Broad Street. They are now locked and secured overnight until the polls open Tuesday, May 17th at 7:00 a.m.
Meanwhile, Monday is the last day you can drop off your mail ballot in Pittston, Hazleton, and the Back Mountain. The Pittston Memorial Library says there’s been a steady flow of people bringing their ballots.
Jessica Lane, the director of the Pittston Memorial Library, says, “We are having patrons come into the library consistently, either calling us just to make sure we are open, to make sure that the dropbox is here after all. People are very interested in using it, happy that it’s in the city of Pittston.”
You can drop off your ballot before the library closes at 7:00 p.m., Monday night.
Mail-in ballots have once again become a hot topic in Luzerne county. Denise Williams, president of the Board of Elections, says that after two incidents last week, she’s not sure the answer is to take the ballot drop boxes away from everyone. Williams asks, “Does that mean disenfranchise everyone who likes to use the ballot drop boxes?”
One person allegedly ripped up two naked ballots and threw them in the trash, another person dropped off four mail-in ballots at a time without a signed affidavit. According to Williams, 5,400 Luzerne County voters preferred to use the ballot drop-off boxes in the November 2021 General Election.
Williams says, “I think a part of that is because they like the security of the ballot drop boxes they know also they don’t have to worry about could their mail-in ballot get lost in the mail, it’s a straight shot.”
Luzerne County residents can drop off their mail ballot at the Penn Place location until 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Election Day.
It’s against the law to drop off anyone’s ballot besides your own unless you have a signed affidavit to do so.
As of Monday afternoon, the Luzerne County District Attorney says no charges have been filed in either of the mail ballot incidents last week.