Philadelphia and surrounding counties ask the state to delay primary amid coronavirus measures

Kim Glovas
March 21, 2020 - 11:53 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia and the surrounding county governments are pushing to have the state primary election delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties have sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Department of State asking to push the primary to June 23rd. 

There are a number of reasons: new polling machines in some counties that require workers to be trained, lack of polling places because many polls are in schools and nursing homes which are shutdown, and poll workers calling in saying they won’t work in a pandemic.

"There's no magic to doing it on April 28th, other than trying to be relevant to the presidential conventions," said Delaware County Councilperson Christine Reuther, "and the reality is, if you look at the numbers, we are not going to be relevant."

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Chester County Commissioners Chair Marian Moskowitz said the pandemic has added obstacles that may be hard to surmount in order to have a fair election.

"Voting needs to be easy and not hard," she expressed, "because if it’s hard, it’s impossible to be effective. And the goal is that we have a right to vote and I think that we should have a right to vote in a healthy environment."

Moskowitz added many polling places are in schools and nursing homes, which are currently off limits.