LEWISBURG — A five-week delay to Primary Day could be helpful.

Greg Katherman, Union County director of elections and voter registration, indicated what was being considered at the state level was a definite plus. Still, there was plenty of uncertainty to go around in view of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“The real issue will be what happens in the interim,” Katherman said. “Will I have poll workers is obviously the bottom line.”

Trouble with polling locations was unlikely, Katherman said, as his concern was for the health of poll workers and voters.

Meantime, Katherman said the number of mail-in ballots, an alternative some have suggested for safety, has increased.

“If I had to guess today, we probably have 600 to 700 (ballots) hanging there.” he said. “More people are asking and it is pushed.”

Whether enough people would be available to come in and count ballots was among other issues.

But Katherman was confident it would be taken care of.

“We had talked with people beforehand about having people coming in,” Kathernman said. “The Democratic Party Committee people and I’m sure the Republicans as well will be helpful (and) help us in some fashion.”

Ordinarily, one representative of each party served as an observer when it was time to count votes.

“It is just a matter of how many of those absentee ballots we’ll actually have and how long it takes us to plow through them,” Katherman surmised.

The State House approved a measure early in the week which would postpone the Tuesday, April 28 primary to Tuesday, June 2, and allowed counties to consolidate polling places. It was an amended version of a Senate bill and could be signed into law later this week.

Staff writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at matt@standard-journal.com.

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