GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – The counting of provisional ballots in Westmoreland County continues. However, the number of people counting is dwindling down as COVID-19 concerns have some election bureau volunteers deciding to stay home for their own health.
“It’s the sheer volume,” said County Commissioner Gina Cerilli. “We have 3,600 provisionals, we’ve never had that many provisionals.”READ MORE: Gov. Tom Wolf Visits East Liberty To Promote Affordable Health Care
County Commissioner Cerilli addressed the important task of counting those votes that are still facing the county election board volunteer workers Friday.
“They’re trying the best they can,” said Cerilli.
The best efforts of these volunteers are also challenged by the COVID infection numbers breaking records for the county.READ MORE: President Joe Biden Pleads With States To Use COVID-19 Relief Money To Pay People To Get Vaccinated
“We started out with 28 provisional board appointees. A lot of them have quit because of COVID,” said Cerilli.
According to county officials, two employees and two volunteers have contracted the potentially-deadly disease with others awaiting test results. Cerilli tells KDKA many of those quitting are walking away simply because others are not taking necessary precautions to stop the spread.
“They’ve quit because their fellow appointees will not wear masks properly and I don’t blame them one bit,” said Cerilli.
As COVID takes its toll, the clock is ticking. The county has just 10 days to certify the election’s result.MORE NEWS: Eviction Moratorium Update: Without An Extension, What Happens To Renters After July 31?
“We are low on staff. We added additional appointees to get us through next week, but we’ll see if that’s enough,” said Cerilli.