County officials confident in election preparations

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BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The countdown continues and we’re less than a week away from election polls opening.

In Columbia and Sullivan Counties, they’re expecting little to no issues. They’re also well-prepared if something does come up.

“Everything in the primary was smooth and we don’t anticipate anything other than it being smooth,” says Columbia County Chief Clerk David Witchey.

Of Columbia County’s almost 40-thousand voters, roughly a quarter have applied for mail-in or absentee ballots.

Director of Elections Matthew Repasky says a majority of them are coming right back in.

“We’re right at our normal presidential staffing which is full, and a couple of locations where we have more more demand than we would have in a normal election year.”

A full elections staff has been thoroughly trained to man the polls for this coming tuesday and are well versed in the thorough vetting process of ballots to avoid any potential fraud.

Their neighbor to the north, Sullivan County, only has about 43-hundred registered voters and a small crew to run the operation.

Help from the commissioners and other departments mean Sullivan County’s Elections Director Hope Verlest will have a community effort and all the help she needs.

“I’m so confident in it because you know in a county like this, we almost know everybody or someone in this office knows those people so it makes things a little bit easier and I think the public has a little more confidence in us because of that.”

It’s a problem they haven’t encountered in years past, but 2020 is a whole new ballgame.

Both election directors say if they have to review those provisional ballots they’ll be more than thorough, but that’ plays a factor in delaying final counts.

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