Local elections board member wants primary to rely on mail-in ballots

PITTSBURGH — Several states are relying primarily on mail-in ballots. Now, a member of the Allegheny County elections board wants to make it happen here.

“I think that’s the only way we ensure that we have enough people voting, turning out to vote, because again we are talking about all the health concerns that revolve around COVID-19,” said Allegheny County Councilwoman Bethany Hallam.

Hallam is also a member of the Board of Elections. She believes the county needs to mail out the ballots to all registered voters.

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“I think that if we mailed every registered voter a mail-in ballot, we would see a much higher turnout than we’ve seen in any election,” she said.

She said poll workers could then compare ballot signatures to registration signatures.

If they don’t move to the mail-in ballots, Hallom worried poll workers won’t be able to be taught how to operate the new voting machines. She’s also concerned about getting poll workers if the virus spreads.

Other local and state officials said they are also on board with the proposal.