Early morning voters brave long lines, chilly weather to vote in South Union Township

Herald Standard Report:

A South Union Township couple arrived at the polls early Tuesday to vote, and learned their ballots may not be counted.

Charles and Barbara McDonald signed in to vote at Laurel Highlands Middle School, and were told they were signed up for mail-in ballots. They neither requested nor received mail-in ballots, they said. They filled out provisional ballots and received a number to call after at least seven days, where they will give their voter ID and determine if their ballots were “counted, partially counted or not counted” and file a complaint if necessary.

“Now we have to wait a week to find out if our vote counted,” said Barbara McDonald. “It’s just ridiculous. If someone voted for us, we won’t know.”

The McDonalds came to the polls at 7:30 a.m. and waited for 1 1/2 hours to vote. They said a person from the election bureau was called to the polling place to instruct the poll workers on how to cast the provisional ballots.

Charles McDonald said problems like theirs will make voters question the entire electoral process and its legitimacy.

“What if it doesn’t count? I voted,” Barbara McDonald said.

“Every vote should count,” said Jeff Hulton, who left the polling place at about the same time as the McDonalds and waited for about 45 minutes to vote.

“I was expecting it to be longer,” he said of the line.

He said he had no problems voting.

Shortly after the polls opened at 7 a.m., the line stretched around the school building. Voters said they arrived before the polls opened in hopes of avoiding long lines. The backup dissipated about an hour later.

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