Westmoreland County 1 of 5 in Pennsylvania without permanent election bureau director

GREENSBURG, Pa. — Westmoreland County leaders are hoping history doesn’t repeat itself Tuesday.

Ballot issues plagued some precincts in the primary election, but even without a permanent election bureau director, the county says it is confident in Tuesday’s election.

“We’ve had about 23,000 mail-in, military, absentee or emergency requests in Westmoreland County; and as of this morning, we’ve received back about 75-76% of those,” county commissioner Doug Chew said.

Westmoreland County election officials expect a higher-than-usual turnout on Tuesday, but Election Day doesn’t come without some hiccups.

“There have been some issues along the way. There have been about 200 ballots that had to be resent because they did not make it; the original ballot was cancelled before the second left in the mail,” Chew said.

“We’ve had some minor issues… some spelling errors on the ballot. They go through proofing and our election software vendor,” election bureau interim director Greg McCloskey said.

County leaders said the transition has been smooth.

“We’ve begun meeting with the election bureau every week for 1-2 hours, so we’re constantly in communication with them, constantly reviewing what’s happening in the office,” Chew said.

Westmoreland is one of five counties in the state without a permanent election bureau director, but interim director Greg McCloskey knows well how the bureau operates, because he’s head of the county’s public works.

“From a public works perspective we’ve also participated in every election providing manpower mostly, equipment for the elections,” McCloskey said. “I had no apprehension whatsoever, I understand the processes needed to be in place and we have a road map, we just have to stay organized and stay on that road map.”

If you have a mail-in ballot you need to turn in, you can drop off those ballots to the election bureau or the drop off box inside the courthouse; or you can always go to your polling place and vote provisionally Tuesday.