PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The first statewide election since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic is underway.
Election officials are facing challenges amid social distancing, short-staffing and a flood of requests for mail-in ballots as voters face a unique experience at the polls.
In the era of coronavirus, election polls were reduced to about one per municipality across Allegheny County, outside of Pittsburgh.
In Ross Township, voters kept their social distance.
Allegheny County leaders say there were some complaints at sites of voters not following the safety measure. In those cases, officials called the polling place lead-person to emphasize it.
“This ain’t the America I grew up with. I know things have changed, but I hope this isn’t like this in November too,” said Fred Pollazzon, of Ross Township.
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There were some problems. Pittsburgh Wards 19 and 26 have the wrong ballots, but election officials say that has been corrected.
People continued to vote in person because, for some, this is just what they always do, but others say they don’t trust mail-in ballots.
“My vote is important. Today, the way things are in our country, it’s more important that we vote,” Carol Tremontin, of Ross Township, said.
If this is the method for November, voters have mixed reviews.
“I hope it looks more back to normal than it is now,” Pollazzon said.
“It’s whatever the health experts think is right,” said voter Dan Tobin, of Ross Township. “That’s what we should do to keep people safe. It’s about more than us.”
At Community College of Allegheny County, there were long lines, face masks and social distancing.
“I like it. It was a change. … They did a good job getting us through this.”
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If you are voting by mail, it must be postmarked by today at 8 p.m. County officials have until next Tuesday to receive and count them.