PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Almost 14-thousand voters came out over the weekend to cast their ballots at Alleghney County’s first ‘additional election offices’ locations around the county.
The county spent Saturday and Sunday collecting mail-in and absentee ballots at five locations around the compass points of the county.
Allegheny County Councilwoman Bethany Hallam is also a member of the Board of Elections, “Thousands of people showed up for our brand new way of voting in Allegheny County, I am so excited about that. I actually didn’t think we would see as much participation as we saw in the actual in person absentee process. I knew a lot of people would be using the drop boxes.”
Hallam says she wanted to see the new process in action, “I went to the North Park ice skating rink location and I went to the CCAC Homewood location, and there was like, a block party. Outside each location, the county had folks there who were directing traffic, making sure everyone knew where to park, I just thought it was such a well-oiled machine for something that we’ve never had to do here before.”
As for issues, “Not that I saw. I think just making sure that people know that if you have already applied for your mail and ballot, and you decide to go vote in person, you can’t do that. The only folks that can vote in person at the satellite voting locations are those who have not yet requested their mailing ballot. Once you’ve requested it, the only option for you at the satellite locations is to drop off your completed mail and valid at the Dropbox. So I think, aside from getting that messaging out, I haven’t seen any hiccups.”
Watch as KDKA’s John Shumway reports:
So far, of the 358,000 mail-in ballots requested, 322,000 have been delivered to the post office and 115,000 have been completed and received by the Board of Elections and are in storage awaiting counting on election day.
The biggest issue to date is that some voters got the wrong ballot, which Hallam says the ‘additional election offices’ were able to correct.
“The folks who received the wrong ballot when they received their mail in ballot the past couple days were actually able to take it down to the satellite locations and have that corrected in person. So I think that was a great development and very helpful as well.”
There have also been a few envelope stuffing mistakes, where voters didn’t get all the return envelopes they needed.
The additional offices were also able to help with those issues.
Hallam says if you want to track your ballot go to votespa.com and enter your information, and it will show you where your ballot is in the process.
One note about election day — unlike the primary where polling places were consolidated and there were lengthy lines, the county is returning to the normal number of precincts.
Hallam says all voters will get a card in the mail notifying you of where you are slated to vote two weeks before the election.