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In defense of poll workers

I am writing on behalf of election poll workers in Pennsylvania. I have been a poll worker for four years. In PA there are close to 50,000 poll workers, (Republicans, Democrats, Independents), and election officials who worked for a minimum of 14 to 15-plus hours on election day. They put their health on the line as they worked through this pandemic so that their fellow citizens could vote. I have heard stories in our community, in the media, from our Pennsylvania legislators and even our President, insinuating that poll workers and election officials are dishonest and the results of the election are suspect. I am insulted that poll workers and the elections officials are being accused of theft and fraud with no evidence to support the Republican lawsuits. (Who is paying for these lawsuits?) Poll workers and elected officials take an oath to provide a fair, honest and safe election process. They upheld their oath.

People are suspicious of the amount of time that it had taken for the various types of ballots to be counted. There are several factors that impacted the time to count the votes. We had a record number of voters who participated, there were 2.6 million mail-in ballots and 94,000 provisional ballots. I heard President Trump encouraged voters to vote by mail as well as go to the polls and vote in person. This confusing, inaccurate advice contributed to the time consuming processing of almost 100,000 provisional ballots. Pennsylvania is one of only four states in the Union that did not allow early processing of mail in ballots.

The State Government committee in the PA House of Representatives, (the same committee that buried the gerrymandering reform legislation after the majority of Pennsylvanians said that they were in favor of it), and the leadership in the PA Senate, are now concerned with sowing confusion and encouraging unfounded mistrust of the state’s election process. The citizens of our state and country deserve better. Trump lost. Let’s move on.

JANET MILES GYEKIS

Wellsboro

Submitted via email

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