FAYETTE COUNTY, Pa. (KDKA) — Election offices across the country are busy processing an unprecedented amount of mail-in ballot applications.
In Fayette County, the process keeps slowing down, and county officials are asking for residents’ help to speed it back up.
“The phone is ringing off the hook. We physically can’t answer them fast enough,” said Scott Dunn, a Fayette Co. commissioner.
The issue starts and ends with the mail-in ballot application process.
“First thing is the application for mail-in ballots. Everyone is getting them in the mail and they aren’t coming from the Fayette County Election Bureau. They are coming from third parties,” Dunn said.
It’s likely that voters may receive more than one application. Commissioner Dunn told KDKA the issue is that some voters will fill out one, send it in, get another application in the mail and have questions.
“They are thinking the first application didn’t work. They send in a second application so we are getting duplicate applications,” Dunn said.
Plus the voter then calls the office repeatedly about the multiple applications, and Dunn said those multiple calls are making it harder to process the 13,000 applications already in-house.
“We actually hired 10 extra part-timer people to help process the mail-in applications and have people from other county departments coming down here to work,” Dunn said.
Dunn said the office is preparing for anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000 applications and the workers need voters to have patience and understanding.
“Be patient, we are working on it and we will go 24/7 if we have to. We will have all these ballots out on time and in time for everyone to vote,” Dunn said.
All ballots must be postmarked by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 to count.