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Mail-in ballots aren't the only thing changing this election. The polls are too

Voting in person? Better check that the polling place hasn't changed
Credit: FOX43
PA Dept. of State Addresses Voting Machine Issues

There has been a lot of talk about mail-in ballots.

But this November, counties must also implement changes at the polls.

Two of the big issues counties have been facing during the COVID-19 pandemic: finding polling locations and finding enough poll workers.

Find a county-by-county breakdown below

Pennsylvania's Department of State said it has received more than 41,000 applications from people who want to serve as poll workers as of Thursday night. Approximately 45,000 poll workers are needed for each election.

Read more about poll worker recruitment statewide here. 

Just earlier this month, Governor Wolf called on the General Assembly to help to fill poll worker spots as he said "tight now counties only have 5 days to fill vacant poll worker spots. They need more time than that they deserve more time than that."

Meantime, as many counties are changing polling locations the state encourages all voters to double check their polling locations.

Check your polling location here.

YORK COUNTY

"Really the only ones that have turned us down, which we have expected, were those polls that were in senior assisted or living facilities," said Julie Wheeler, President of York County Commissioners.

Wheeler said 154 of York County's 161 polling locations have confirmed so far. But, that she anticipated the county could meet its goal by November.

Wheeler said the county needs 700-800 poll workers. Right now, she said, the county is around 300 short. However, she said the county now has a database built of poll workers whom it can call to fill the spots so she is confident the county will have enough poll workers by November.

"We still anticipate some folks are not going to work the polls due to the concerns around covid but we have a database of backups now that we can call," said Wheeler.

DAUPHIN COUNTY

Dauphin County has announced polling locations changes due to COVID-19-related concerns, ADA accessibility and limited space for the new voting system. 

Learn more about Dauphin Co. polling changes here and here.

"Regarding poll workers, were nearly at full complement. We have a few vacancies in different areas of the county and are in the process of filling those gaps. We haven’t seen a big loss in the number of poll workers this election. In the spring election, we did," said Amy Richards, spokesperson for Dauphin County. "We don’t anticipate additional polling place changes before the election."

CUMBERLAND COUNTY

Cumberland County announced nine polling locations. 

The county currently has 1200 poll workers, which county spokesperson Samantha Krepps said is "as many as we need."

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Franklin County Deputy Chief Clerk & Opens Record Officer, Jean Byers, said "We have had a huge response from voters wishing to serve as a poll workers at the upcoming election so I think all spots will be filled." 

LANCASTER COUNTY

Lancaster County Chief Clerk, Randall Wenger, said, "we have been blessed with almost 1000 more poll workers volunteers what we need at this point.   We will be reaching out see if these potential volunteers will be willing to help us open ballots on election day."

LEBANON COUNTY

Lebanon County Chief Clerk Michael Anderson said, "no poll worker shortages at the moment.  The Dept of State has given us over 100 individuals that expressed interest to help and we can pull from that group as needed."

The PA Dept of State provided this advice for voters that plan to go to the polls:

"Voters going to the polls on election day should wear a mask, bring their own pen and follow social distancing guidelines. The Department of State is supplying counties with masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, floor marking tape and other supplies for polling places so Pennsylvanians can safely exercise their right to vote during this COVID-19 emergency."