Mail-in voting costs are surging in the Lehigh Valley

Written by on September 1, 2020

 Mail-in voting costs are surging in the Lehigh Valley 

By Chloe Nouvelle

September 1, 2020

By Chloe Nouvelle / WLVR

Expanding mail-in voting is getting expensive in the Lehigh Valley. County officials are even expecting costs to triple in some cases.

With just about two months to go before the election, Lehigh and Northampton County executives say their voter registration offices are already filling up with thousands of applications for mail in ballots.

Processing and verifying the surge in voting paperwork has meant much more work for elections staff. Lamont McClure is Northampton County Executive. 

“The phone is ringing off the hook all day long in the elections division regarding the new mail in voting procedures,” said McClure.

Mcclure has asked the county council for 600 thousand more dollars. 

Meanwhile Lehigh County has invested in more machinery to help count mail in ballots on election night. But executive Phillips Armstrong says there’s no extra money to give to the voter registration office – where staffers are already working overtime on nights and weekends.

“The state has said they are going to come through with some more money. Will the level of money they come up with reach the level that we need? Probably not,” said Armstrong.  

So Armstrong says he’s looking at grants from nonprofit groups to help fill some of the funding gaps.

Once voters receive their mail-in ballot – both county executives recommend they return them as soon as possible. 

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