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Local elections offices already swamped with high volume of mail-in ballots

LAWRENCE CO., Pa. — The Lawrence County Elections Office is already packed with mail-in ballots. There are already more than 13,000 sitting in the director’s office about a month before Election Day.

Almost the entire bottom floor of the county courthouse is dedicated to the November election. In four different rooms, extra workers have been brought on to help send out the thousands of requests -- working 10-12 hour days to ensure there are not delays.

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“We’ve had a 400% increase in the work that we have to get done besides still planning for in-person voting at polling places,” said County Elections Director Ed Allison. “It certainly is more convenient. People do not have to wait in line, they don’t want to take that chance. There is still a fair amount that are apprehensive or concerned in regard to the coronavirus.”

In the 2016 presidential election, Lawrence County had just 3,300 mail-in ballots.

Butler County is seeing the same thing. Officials said that office has received more than 40,000 mail-in ballot requests already -- with two weeks to go until the deadline. They said all mail-in ballots sent to voters will include “clear instructions," including making sure you seal the secrecy envelope.

“It has been a lot of work, but the staff -- the permanent staff and the temporary staff -- have been up to the task,” Allison said.

There will still be polling places open to vote in-person on Election Day.