SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Several polling places have relocated, just 26 days from the election.
The new locations will be the same for voters who cast their ballots in the primaries. Come Election Day there will still be 163 precincts in the county. Due to COVID-19, the six former locations could not provide the space for the board of elections.
The ripple effects from the COVID-19 pandemic has changed –how– and –where– we vote in 2020. In Lackawanna County, six polling places are being relocated.
The changes are shown below:
|Old Location||New Location||Ward/Precinct|
|Jackson Heights Recreation Room||West Side Senior Center||Scranton Ward 5, Precinct 1|
|Boys and Girls Club of NEPA||Scranton Cultural Center||Scranton Ward 7, Precinct 1|
|Washington West Apartments||Scranton Cultural Center||Scranton Ward 16, Precinct 1|
|Our Lady of Peace Residence||Dunmore Community Center||Dunmore Ward 16, Precinct 1|
|Fell Twp. Garage||Fell Twp. Municipal Bldg.||Fell Twp. Precinct 4|
|Madisonville Fire Company||Madison Twp. Municipal Bldg.||N/A|
“Based all upon COVID where individual places are asking us not to have them there and we’re relocating them, in most cases primarily right across the street,” Lackawanna County Chief of Staff Brian Jeffers said.
Scranton Ward 5, Precinct 1 is relocating to West Side Senior Center. Scranton Ward 7 and 16, Precinct 1 is relocating to the Scranton Cultural Center.
Dunmore Ward 16, Precinct 1 is relocating to the Dunmore Community Center. Fell Township Precinct 4 is relocating to the municipal building.
In Madison Township, voters will cast their vote at the township’s municipal building.
Jeffers says, by relocating polling places, it will allow for better social distancing.
“If we condensed them or put them all together or only made a dozen or so throughout the county we would see long lines, voter suppression, that’s not what the commissioners are about,” Jeffers said.
“Masks are asked to be warn, hand sanitizers are there. So, I think they are going to do a very good job like they did in the primaries,” Lackawanna County Commissioner Chris Chermak said.
Commissioners Chermak, Debbi Domenick, and Jerry Notarianni voted unanimously for the new locations. They also voted at Wednesday’s board meeting to allow poll workers to work outside their voting districts.
“We don’t have an overabundance of poll workers so that just helps us utilize the ones that we do have give them the ability to move where ever we may need them,” Chermak said.
As for mail-in ballots in the county, Board of elections received 43,000 applications since August. Only 32,000 ballots have been mailed out.
The county’s chief of staff tells Eyewitness News they hope to get the remainder, 11,000, out in the mail by Friday. Each day, about 500 to 700 mail-in ballots are returned.