Voter turnout low as many choose mail in ballots

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(WBRE/WYOU) — Even as voting precincts were consolidated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person turnout remained low.

In Kingston Township, all four voting precincts were combined into one but the location at Cross Creek Community Church saw just 34 people voting by 10 a.m. Poll workers say there was some confusion as at least nine of those had already voted by mail.

A similar scene unfolded at a Sugarloaf Township polling place. Only about 150 of the possible 3,000 voters came out to cast their ballots. However, elections officials say they believe the low turnout is due to a large number of voters opting to vote by mail. Safety measures are in place at all polling locations.

Meanwhile, at the Lackawanna Government Center, located in the former Globe Department Store, more than a dozen people are working to open ballots.

Workers came in at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning and according to Brian Jeffers, Lackawanna County Chief of Staff, their goal is to complete counting Tuesday even if they have to stay very late. Workers have been provided with masks, gloves and sanitizer as they continue to count votes.

Mail-in ballots can be returned to a drop box at the government center until 8 p.m. Active military personnel can submit their ballots up to seven days later.

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