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County To Open Additional Elections Offices

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
September 21, 2020
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News, Politics & Elections

(Tube City Almanac file photo)


Allegheny County will open additional elections offices in October so that voters who want to return paper ballots in person may do so safely.

Although the county plans to have more than 1,300 polling places open for the Nov. 3 election, officials expect heavier than usual use of vote-by-mail and absentee ballots due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The county board of elections last week unanimously approved a proposal in which the Elections Division will open additional offices on specific dates and times.

Each office will provide opportunity for voters to provide over-the-counter voting, and the return of voted ballots to a fully-staffed, secure office, a county spokeswoman said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Allegheny County had a shortage of poll workers for the June 2 primary election and reduced the number of available in-person polling places from 1,300 to fewer than 150.

Elections Division Manager David Voye said last week the county expects to have a sufficient number of poll workers for Nov. 3 to open 1,323 polling locations as usual.

Training began last week and 3,500 poll workers have been assigned to locations already, he said.

The board also voted unanimously to increase the pay of poll workers to $200 in light of the global pandemic.

About 200,000 of the county’s registered voters used absentee or vote-by-mail ballots in the primary, according to officials.

Under state law, absentee or vote-by-mail ballots may only be delivered to a county elections office by the U.S. Postal Service or by the person who completed the ballot. A person may not drop off someone else’s ballot at the county elections office.

As a result, the county will open satellite offices on select Saturdays and Sundays leading up to the election so that voters may drop off their ballots early.

Ballots will be accepted at the following times and locations:

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 10

County Office Building, 542 Forbes Ave., downtown Pittsburgh
North Park Ice Rink
South Park Ice Rink
County Public Works Garage No. 2, Carnegie
CCAC Homewood Center

11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 11

County Office Building, downtown Pittsburgh
North Park Ice Rink
South Park Ice Rink
County Public Works Garage No. 2, Carnegie
CCAC Homewood Center

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 17

County Office Building, downtown Pittsburgh
South Park Ice Rink
CCAC South Campus, West Mifflin
Boyce Park Ski Lodge
Shop ’n Save, Hill District

11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 18

County Office Building, downtown Pittsburgh
South Park Ice Rink
CCAC South Campus, West Mifflin
Boyce Park Ski Lodge
Shop ’n Save, Hill District

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 24

County Office Building, downtown Pittsburgh
Boyce Park Ski Lodge
CCAC South Campus, West Mifflin
CCAC Allegheny Campus, Pittsburgh’s North Side
North Park Ice Rink

11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 25

County Office Building, downtown Pittsburgh
Boyce Park Ski Lodge
CCAC South Campus, West Mifflin
CCAC Allegheny Campus, Pittsburgh’s North Side
North Park Ice Rink

County officials said last week the elections division is processing online applications in the same day they are received, and is working through paper applications with additional staff and shifts.

They are receiving a number of duplicate applications for ballots — up to 40 or 50 percent — which is impacting the work, the county said.

Application can be done online at the state’s website, www.votespa.com.


Jason Togyer is editor of Tube City Almanac and volunteer executive director of Tube City Community Media Inc. He may be reached at jtogyer@gmail.com.

Originally published September 21, 2020.

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