As primary, voter registration near, polling places change

As the May primary approaches and some polling places change locations, the deadline for voter registration is just around the corner.

Anyone aiming to vote in the May 15 general primary needs to register or update their registration with Lycoming County Voter Services by Monday, said Forrest K. Lehman, director of elections.

Registration can be done in person on the first floor of the Third Street Plaza, 33 W. Third St., online at www.register.votespa.com or by downloading, printing and completing the registration application from www.lyco.org/departments/voter-services then mailing it to the Board of Elections, 48 W. Third St., Williamsport, Pa. 17701.

To register, a person must:

• Be a United States citizen for at least one month before the next election.

• Be a resident of Pennsylvania and their election district for at least 30 days before the next election.

• Be 18 years of age on or before the day of the next election.

The Lycoming County Board of Elections also announced it has permanently relocated the polling place for the Williamsport’s 6th and 7th Wards, located in the southern and northwestern areas of Newberry respectively, effective beginning with the May 15 general primary.

The new polling place for both precincts will be West End Christian Community Center, 901 Diamond St. Previously, voters went to St. Matthew Lutheran Church, 2233 Linn St., Lehman said.

The board also voted in February to designate the STEP RiverWalk Center, 423 E. Central Ave., as the polling place for South Williamsport’s 1st Ward in place of the United Methodist Church, 409 Main St.

Lehman said at the time of the vote that there are about 1,200 voters in the borough’s 1st Ward, which encompasses the area east of Market Street.

A sign will be posted at the old and new polling places on primary day to notify voters of the change, and notification letters will be mailed to the households of all registered voters in both wards, he said.

Other changes made in time for the election occurred at the state level.

State redistricting has removed Lycoming County from the 10th congressional district and counted it within the 12th. However, there shouldn’t be much noticeable change to voters, Lehman said.

“We were all one congressional district going into it and, coming out, we continue to be,” he said. “In that regard, I think we ended up better off than some counties.”

Many other counties were “profoundly” changed by redistricting, Lehman said. Some counties that previously were part of one congressional district might have been separated into two or three districts.

Lehman added, as an election official, he’s just glad the process was finalized in time to hold the primary on May 15 as scheduled. Securing polling places, volunteers and other necessities on a newly scheduled election day would have been a logistical nightmare, he said.

“It would have raised some really significant challenges for the county,” he said.

Folks interested in the redistricting or in voter information such as sample ballots, absentee ballots and more can see such information at www.lyco.org/departments/voter-services.

“People who want to continue to monitor things as we get closer to the election can visit our website,” Lehman said. “I do try to keep a lot of current information there that voters may be interested in.”

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