Several Polling Place Changes in Effect for Primary Election in Centre County
June 01, 2020 2:35 PM
by Geoff Rushton
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The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in several changes for Pennsylvania's primary election, including rescheduling from April 28 to June 2 and additional public health safety measures that will be in place when voters and election workers go to the polls.

It also has caused changes to a few voting locations in Centre County.

The county Board of Elections approved in May the consolidation of the following precinct polling locations:

- Polling places for precinct No. 56, Harris Township East, and precinct No. 57, Harris Township West, are consolidated to be held in the Boalsburg Fire Hall, 113 E. Pine St., Boalsburg.

- Polling places for precinct No. 73, Rush Township South, and precinct No. 75, Rush Township West, are consolidated to be held at the First Church of Christ, 1437 Tyrone Pike, Philipsburg.

- Polling places for precinct No. 18, State College Borough Northwest, and precinct No. 24, State College East 1, are consolidated to be held at the HUB-Robeson Center Alumni Hall, University Park.

The consolidation "was implemented to account for the limited number of poll workers and polling locations available for this election as a result of the public health emergency," according to a county news release.

Among other changes, three senior living communities that in the past had served as voting locations will not be used this year.

Precinct No. 20, State College South 2, which previously used Foxdale Village, will vote at State College Assembly of God, 2201 University Drive. That location also is the polling site for precinct No. 42, College Township South.

Precinct No. 48, Ferguson North 2, which previously used Elmcroft of State College, will vote at Park Forest Middle School, 2180 School Drive.

Precinct No. 87, Spring Township Southwest, which previously used The Oaks at Pleasant Gap, will vote at the Public Safety Training Center, 391 N. Harrison Rd., Bellefonte.

Multiple other polling places have temporarily changed for the primary. To see if your polling place has changed and to find where to vote, visit the Pennsylvania Voter Services website.

Each voting location in the county will be equipped with protective kits to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

"Voting equipment will be sanitized throughout the day, hand sanitizer will be provided, and areas will be marked so that voters can maintain social distancing rules while waiting in line and filling out their ballots," the news release said.

Each voter also will be given a new pen to fill in their ballots.

Mail-in and absentee ballots must be received by the county elections office by 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Postmarks do not apply, and ballots can be taken to the secure ballot drop-off box at the Willowbank Office Building, 420 Holmes Street, Bellefonte. 

As a result of bipartisan legislation signed into law last fall, this is the first election in which any registered voter in Pennsylvania has the option of voting by mail. About 1.8 million registered voters in the state requested mail-in ballots. 

Democratic and Republican voters will be casting their ballots for their parties' nominees for president, U.S. representative, state attorney general, auditor general, state representative and delegate to party nominating conventions.

Centre County voters will see few contested races. For auditor general, the Democratic primary candidates include Scott Conklin — who also is on the ballot for reelection as state representative for the 77th District — Michael Lamb, Tracie Fountain, Rose Marie Davis, Nina Ahmad and Christina Hartman. Timothy DeFoor is the only Republican candidate on the ballot for auditor general.

While President Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Bill Weld and Rocky De La Fuente also appear on the ballot. Former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic nominee, but Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard are on the ballot as well.

Aside from delegates to national party conventions, other races in the primary are uncontested.

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