Berks County election officials say that despite some big bumps in the road, they’re ready for Election Day.
The weeks leading up to Tuesday’s municipal election were riddled with errors, with the county twice sending out election material that contained the wrong date for Election Day. But those mistakes have been addressed and should not affect voters heading out to the polls, officials say.
Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt, chairman of the election board, said Monday that he anticipates there will be no significant issues or problems throughout the county on Election Day.
“We’re expecting a normal general election given all the things that happened previous to it,” he said.
The leadup to the election has not been perfectly smooth.
On Oct. 20 the Elections Board learned that 17,000 mailed ballots had been sent to voters that included the wrong date for Election Day in the Spanish-language version of the instructions.
The commissioners have taken responsibility for the mistake and said they know how it was made. They said the instructions were based on a template from the May 18 primary. They said the month was changed for the general election, but the day of the month was not.
They have since corrected the error on Spanish-language instructions that were sent out more recently and sent letters out to all 17,000 people who received the erroneous information. They have also been publicizing the correct information through various means.
A second error was revealed on Saturday when election officials were alerted that 800 poll workers had been sent letters notifying them that they had been appointed to positions due to vacancies that twice cited an incorrect date for the election.
The commissioners said they determined that the letter was not properly proofread before being sent out and that the elections staff would call the judge of elections for each of the county’s 202 precincts to instruct the judge of elections to contact their poll working staff to confirm the correct date.
A statement from the commissioners Monday said they are confident the matter has been addressed.
“The elections staff contacted all the judges of election with appointed staff on Saturday to have the judges of elections contact their poll working staff to confirm the date of the election,” it read. “All polling locations will be appropriately staffed tomorrow.”
Source: Berkshire mont