Lackawanna County approves drop-off boxes for mail-in ballots

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — With Lackawanna County receiving 30,000 ballots in the primaries, officials are trying to make it easier for everyone looking to cast their vote by an envelope.

Lackawanna County officials say they expect more than 50,000 of its residents to vote by mail-in ballots.

“I really don’t like to wait in the long lines, and you know, because of this COVID-19,” said Kenneth Maglione, from Archbald.

He says he’s voting by mail and that it’s the safest way right now.

“You can’t be around a group of people because you have a chance of catching it,” Maglione said.

Maglione and thousands of others will have the option to put a stamp on their ballot or use one of the county’s soon to be secure ballot boxes. The drop-off option comes after county commissioners approved it two-to-one during Wednesday’s election board meeting.

Five boxes will be placed at various township and borough buildings and the last one will be at the government center.

“They’re government buildings, they’re secure, most of them have police departments in them, most of them have cameras in them,” Brian Jeffers, chief of staff, Lackawanna County, tells us.

Jeffers says the idea came after the primaries in June. Alleviating a possible back log at the post office and ballot drop offs at the former Globe store.

“We thought, six of them at six different locations spread out through the county that will be picked up by our deputy sheriffs, and the voter registration employees would be the best way to go about it,” said Jeffers.

“I am, you know, pushing for people to vote in person. That’s the best way,” Chris Chermak, Lackawanna County commissioner (R), said.

The Commissioner voted against having the boxes as an option.

“I’m not comfortable with these boxes out around the county where we have very little control,” he said.

County leaders tells Eyewitness News that they hope to have the secure ballot boxes in a couple of weeks. They are still working that out specific locations.

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