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Schuylkill County prepares for election; poll workers needed

Preparations are underway in Schuylkill County for the June 2 primary election.

During their weekly meeting on Wednesday, the commissioners said that most polling places will be open as usual, but they are encouraging residents to take advantage of vote-by-mail.

“We’re suggesting that you mail in your vote. If you wish to vote that way, please do so. If not, the other polling places will be open,” said Commissioner Gary Hess.

The deadline to register to vote is May 18. The deadline to request a mail-in ballot is May 26. Ballots can be submitted in person at the election bureau, 420 N. Centre St., Pottsville, until 8 p.m. on election night.

This is different from absentee ballots, which couldn’t be dropped at the election bureau.

The commissioners are also calling upon anyone at least 17 years old to serve as a poll worker during the primary election. Training for the positions will take place May 19-22.

“All poll workers for every election, we really appreciate their time in the primary and general election to make sure that we see that democracy moves forward. Without those folks it would be a challenge,” said Commissioner Gary Hess.

Poll workers receive $110. Anyone interested can call the commissioners office at 570-621-1200 to sign up.

While the commissioners are encouraging residents to vote by mail amid the coronavirus, they are planning to keep most polling places open in their normal locations on primary day.

A handful of polling places will be consolidated - most likely the ones which are located in senior centers which are currently closed to visitors due to coronavirus.

During the public comment period of Wednesday’s meeting, a candidate for state representative said that most residents he has spoken to want to go to the polls.

Christy Joy, the Schuylkill County controller and candidate for the Republican nomination in the 125th legislative district, wanted to know if any sites would be consolidated.

“A severe supermajority of the people I’ve spoken to want to go to the polls. They really want to go,” Joy said.

Joy also asked whether the election bureau would be open to the public to drop off ballots.

Hess said that people will be able to drop off their ballots at the election bureau up until 8 p.m. on Primary Day.