Luzerne County prepping for general election after election director announces resignation

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — With another Labor Day in the books, some say it’s time to think about the 2019 election.

The November general election in Pennsylvania is just more than two months away. And there are concerns and questions among many residents in Luzerne County as to whether the county will be prepared.

This after the election director announced her resignation. Luzerne County officials say they will be ready to go no matter what. They are confident the November election will off without a hitch.

The Luzerne County Bureau of Elections office was quiet Tuesday. Employees getting the job done but the director of this office, Marisa Crispell, is stepping down. Her resignation takes effect this Friday, September 6.

She is not commenting on why she is resigning but sources in the county say it is for personal reasons. This comes after months of controversy and questions about her ties with AS vendor that supplies voting machines to the county since 2006 and an electronic voting book since last year.

Crispell served on an unpaid advisory board for that company and accepted paid trips to board meetings in Las Vegas and Nebraska. Crispell says she received approval from county higher-ups before she took the trips.

She also says she resigned from the advisory before the county put out a request for bids to supply voting books in January 2018. Her departure comes as the county dots the “I”‘s and crosses the “T”‘s for the November general election.

“Well, anytime we have a department head leave it does cause some stir within the county,” county manager Dave Pedri said.

But Pedri is not concerned.

“We do have some veterans on staff over there. We have taken the necessary precautions. If any department head leaves we have standard operating procedures we will follow,” Pedri said.

County council chairman Tim McGinley points out this is not the first time an election director has stepped down in mid-stream. That is why the county created a deputy director position several years ago.

“So I feel pretty confident that we have some people that have the background, have the information the resources and can accomplish the fact that we need to have a voting election in November,” McGinley said.

Crispell has not been accused of any wrongdoing. She tells Eyewitness News she cannot comment on her resignation, only to say it was for personal reasons.

Crispell’s position is now posted on the county’s website and applications are being accepted. She was hired as the director of the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections in December 2012.

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