Westmoreland County Commissioner says he’s catching heat for comments on mail-in ballots

GREENSBURG, Pa. — Mail-in ballots were a hot topic during the primary and general elections last year, but the criticism of them hasn’t gone away entirely in Westmoreland County.

Commissioner Doug Chew told a state Senate committee yesterday that recent activities eroded the public’s confidence in the election process.

“I think as a whole, the system works, but we need to have a few of the kinks worked out and Westmoreland County. For example, there were approximately 20,000 unreturned mail based ballots,” Chew said.

He testified that most of his constituents would like to see the elimination of mail-in ballot voting, a statement he feels was misconstrued.

“In November and December of 2020, that is what my office was hearing, but I am very happy over the last 24 hours, I’ve heard a different set of constituents tell me how much they enjoyed mail-in voting and how it helped them,” Chew said.

He said his biggest request to the committee was the need to educate voters.

“So that they understand what safeguards are in place at all levels of voting and all types of voting and that they understand how the entire process works,” Chew said.

“Westmoreland County voters want mail-in ballots to continue,” said Commissioner Gina Cerilli. “I want my colleagues to stop putting their political party first and put the people of Westmoreland County first.”

The lone Democrat on the county’s board of commissioners is not happy with her colleague’s take on how the system played out during the election.