Mail-in ballot extensions and polling place changes lead to confusion for voters

Local

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — It’s an Election Day like no other. On the eve of Election Day, Gov. Wolf granted an extension to six counties due to recent protests in those areas. For voters in those six counties, mail-in ballots must be returned to the county’s election office or postmarked by today.

Dauphin County was the only county in the Midstate to receive the extension. Bureau of Election director Jerry Feaser says not only will the extension impact local races but statewide races too.

It will impact it significantly because it will further delay the results being finalized and it really has created a lot of confusion as I’ve been going around to the polls and talked to voters,” Feaser said.

Confusion seems to be the theme for this Election Day. Common Cause Pennsylvania says many polling places were consolidated in response to COVID-19 and confused voters about where to cast their vote.

Protests have had an impact on voter turnout with many polling places near a police presence.

“This presents a real challenge to voters of color who now have to walk by that police presence to cast their ballot,” said Suzanne Almeida, interim executive director, Common Cause Pennsylvania.

Some voters might not even get the chance to express their civic duty. Nursing home residents in Delaware County are quarantined because of COVID-19 and never received their mail-in ballots.

“For folks who did not receive their ballot, there’s really not anything they can do to make their voice heard,” said Almeida.

Voters have until 8 p.m. tonight to return their mail-in ballots.

 

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