Four wards in Allentown consolidated at Fearless Fire Company caused late opening for voting

Written by on June 3, 2020

Four wards in Allentown consolidated at Fearless Fire Company caused late opening for voting

By Tracy Yatsko

June 3, 2020

In yesterday’s primary, four wards in Allentown were consolidated into one voting location at Fearless Fire Company. And as WLVR’s Tracy Yatsko reports, complications around that meant the site opened late for in-person voting.

Even when polling sites are consolidated, each ward has to staff its own operation. At the fire company, one ward was run by a team of first-time poll workers, who needed extra help.

Sharon Smith experienced her first election day as Judge of Elections.

“It was pretty chaotic in the beginning because this is a new polling place that no one has ever worked before and having four different groups figure out where we’re gonna go with social distancing, how many plugs we need to put in the machinery. It was probably about an hour and a half of setup time and normally should be about an hour.”

Smith says she’s lucky she had the support of veteran poll workers from other wards to help her and her team figure things out, a test run for what’s to come in November.

“We’re gonna need a lot more people, more equipment and we’re gonna have to be there earlier to set up because there’s just gonna be a whole lot more work to do and we want to make it smooth and fast for the voter. The easier it is to vote, hopefully people will vote.”


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