Clearfield County Commissioners heard a request for ballot boxes to be placed at locations around the county.
At the board’s meeting Tuesday, three residents spoke about the need for sealed receptacles to receive completed ballots to make the process simpler and more efficient for residents.
Christina Fulton of the Clearfield County Democratic Committee told the commissioners research has shown having easily accessible ballot boxes increases the numbers of voters participating in an election because they are confident their choices will be counted and not tampered with.
Abby Carr of DuBois noted the county’s Election and Voter Registration office is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — times when many county residents are at their places of employment.
“It is unfeasible for the working class,” Fulton said.
“Ballot boxes would help residents feel secure,” she explained noting having specific receptacles available in locations throughout the county could help to alleviate long lines on election day and provide alternatives for residents who may not visit their polling places because they are concerned about contracting Covid or believe their mailed votes could be affected by delays with the postal service or may not participate at all because of the increasing costs of postage stamps.
“Democracy works when everyone can vote,” Carr said.
Zach Bloom of Houtzdale told the commissioners he believes having an option to cast votes using drop-off ballot boxes could help increase the number of voters. “Studies have shown people will come out if boxes are located near their homes.”
He said if having boxes located throughout the county is not feasible, perhaps having a slot outside the county’s administrative building where people could drop ballots into a sealed container would be effective.
Commissioner Dave Glass thanked Fulton, Carr and Bloom for their input.
“I’m glad you came. This has bothered me since 2020. (The subject of) ballot boxes has become polarized. You have done some legwork. No one has talked to the commissioners about this. I think at the very least we could have a slot here at the administrative building for after hours.”