DOYLESTOWN >> With a record number of Bucks County residents having registered to vote, October 27 was the final day for them – and voters throughout Pennsylvania -- to request a mail-in or absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 election.
It was also the last day for voters who have not already applied for their ballot to request an on-demand ballot at one of the county’s three election offices.
On Monday, the second-to-last day for on-demand ballot printing, cold and rain failed to deter long lines of voters looking to receive and submit their ballots ahead of Election Day. In Doylestown, county residents wrapped around the Broad Street corner of the Administration Building for the entire business day, with some waiting hours to request and fill out their ballots, and others turned away at day’s end.
Bucks County is now home to 488,010 registered voters, including 208,879 Democrats, 198,631 Republicans and 80,500 third-party or unaffiliated voters.
The county voter rolls have grown by 24,855 since the primary election in June. Of those new voters, 9,898 registered as Republicans, 8,274 registered as Democrats and 6,683 registered with some other or no affiliation. The window to register to vote in the General Election closed Monday.
As of Monday evening, the Board of Elections office had received just shy of 74,000 mail-in and absentee ballots out of nearly 192,000 ballots sent out. Mail-in and absentee ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received by Friday, Nov. 6, in order to be counted.
The county’s three ballot drop boxes in Quakertown, Doylestown and Levittown will remain available to voters through 8 p.m. Nov. 3.
With just one week to go until polls open on Election Day, the county’s preparation efforts are entering the home stretch.
Voting machines began making their way Monday morning from the county warehouse in Doylestown Township to polling places across the county.
The vast majority of machines, which are securely locked inside large metal cages, will have been trucked out by the end of the day on Oct. 27. A select few are set to be delivered early next week.
Preparing to staff the county’s 304 voting precincts is a cast of more than 1,600 poll workers, and dozens more are expected to join their ranks in the coming days.
To ensure poll workers and judges of elections know their stuff, Board of Elections Director Thomas Freitag and his staff hosted a final outdoor poll worker training session Friday evening in the parking lot of the Bucks County Justice Center.
A sure sign of the times, all recent trainings have been held in an open-air, socially distanced format as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In an effort to better serve voters, the Board of Elections opted at its meeting Thursday to expand the staff at its temporary call center, where workers have been fielding upward of 1,000 calls from voters each day. Additional workers will allow the Board of Elections to handle incoming calls more efficiently and reduce wait times.
Voters are encouraged to check the frequently asked questions section of the county’s 2020 General Election Portal to see if their question has already been answered before calling the Board of Elections.
Learn more at buckscounty.org/2020election.