Local election boards prep for record mail-in ballots for November

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — We are six weeks away from election day, and candidates are making stops around our area.

This as local boards of elections across Pennsylvania are hard at work, preparing for a record number of expected mail-in ballots.

Just a few months back during the primaries, election workers here at the Lackawanna County government building, processed more than 36,000 mail in ballots. This year for the general election. The numbers are growing a bit more daunting.

Marion Medalis, the director of board of elections in Lackawanna County told Eyewitness News, she thinks they may hit up to 50,000 mail in ballots.

The push is on for voter registration and mail-in ballot applications in the battleground state of Pennsylvania. Ahead of election day; Lackawanna County, like many are already working overtime when it comes to the lengthy process of mail-ins.

Governor Tom Wolf has been pushing for help.

“I’m urging the general assembly to send me legislation, allowing counties to begin pre-canvassing ballots in the weeks leading up to election day,” said Governor Wolf.

Opening envelopes, straightening papers and sorting may seem like mundane work, but for counties and nations awaiting results? It’s crucial.

“It’s very, very tedious process and we started it in the primary we started election morning at 9 a.m., we didn’t stop till 11 p.m. but we still didn’t even have our envelopes opened,” Medalis said. 

Between Act 77, encouraging mail-in balloting, and a global pandemic — millions across the commonwealth and nation will cast their vote from home. Things like additional workers, potential voting drop boxes or pre-canvassing measures are just some things that could lighten the load come November 3.

“We anticipate that our county election offices are going to see historic increases, a surge, really,” said Wolf.

Medalis urged voters to get their ballots in early. 

“The last day to apply is October 27, but i wouldn’t wait to the last day.”

Madelis and company are hard at work in Lackawanna County to make sure that the general election goes off without a hitch. But wherever you live, local county elections boards are there to help and make sure your vote counts. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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