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Lancaster County Commissioners to close only ballot drop box in the area

The drop box, which serves the 344,000 registered voters, was located inside the Lancaster County Government Center in downtown.

LANCASTER, Pa. — After two days of discussions, the Board of Elections in Lancaster County decided on Wednesday to remove the sole dropbox where voters returned their mail-in ballots.

This comes at the same time the Pennsylvania Senate approved a bill that would prevent the future use of "unsecured ballot drop boxes."

Senator Ryan Aument said in a press release, “Eliminating drop boxes that evidence shows are breeding grounds for suspicious activity will go a long way toward restoring the public’s confidence in our elections and results."

However, for those who live in Lancaster County, like Diane Topakian, Chair of Lancaster County Democratic committee, this move is a serious blow.

“This is going to affect a vulnerable population of seniors,” Topakian said.

The drop box, which has been active in 2020, was located inside the Lancaster County Government Center. It was an ideal spot for those who needed that ease of access.

 Topakian says removing the box is essentially an act of voter suppression.

"Absolutely, without question...don’t tell me that you're protecting people from fraud to rationalize your goal -- which is to disenfranchise voters."

Chairman for Lancaster County Commissioner's Office, Ray D’Agostino, one of the two Republicans who decided on the removal of the ballot box, disagrees.

“No one in any way, shape, or form is being denied access to the box," he said. "For 100 years, up until 2019, this is the way it was done."

D'Agostino said that the security of the election is too important to tamper with just for the sake of ease.

“Is it more convenient to not go an extra 20 yards as was done previously?" he asked rhetorically. "Sure, but what about integrity? Do we give up safety, security, and integrity for a little bit of convivence?”

A vital question, echoing across the state – as election day draws near.

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