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Voters in Luzerne County enthusiastic to cast ballots

Newswatch 16's Elizabeth Worthington spoke with voters at a polling place in Mountain Top.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — Tom Basar had one thing on his mind as he prepared to cast his ballot Tuesday morning. He was one of the first to do so as voters lined up outside the Mountain Top Hose Company in Fairview Township, waiting for the polls to open.

"I'm not happy with the way things are going. And we need a big change," Basar said.

We asked voters in line what the biggest issue on the ballot was for them.

"Our economy, crime with our border, and also behavioral health/mental health issues, and I think a lot of that has to do with drugs and things like that," Susan Kramer said.

"A little bit of everything. It's not just one specific thing; it's everything," Anita Herr said.

"Inflation, gas prices, crime, although we're a little bit isolated here, we're not as bad as the big cities. Immigration, teaching our kids the wrong things in school," Basar said.

People who live in this part of Luzerne County were impressed with the number of people who showed up early to vote.

"Usually, the presidential (election) gets more, but this is more important because this is local, and local is what determines everything that goes on in Pennsylvania," Herr said.

"I just think that people have very strong beliefs, whatever side you're on. So, I think that has really motivated a lot of people because there's a lot of polarization," Kramer said.

Elections officials want to assure people their vote will count, trying to keep voter concerns at bay after a mail-in ballot mistake.

Last week, the county revealed hundreds of voters received duplicate ballots.

Acting Deputy Director Emily Cook says the office is still investigating but believes it was a data exporting error. She also says the machine will know automatically if two ballots with the same ID are submitted, and only one will be counted.

Cook wants voters to know the process will be transparent.

"We don't have anything to hide. I think that's the biggest thing. We're not hiding anything. We've been very open from the start, even with this duplicate file. We are here to create that confidence in the system," said Cook.

Election officials remind voters that it is too late to send ballots in the mail. It needs to be in the hands of elections officials by 8 p.m.

If you still want to drop off your ballot in a county drop box, the one inside Penn Place in Wilkes-Barre is the only remaining option for Luzerne County voters.

RELATED: Voting problems reported in Luzerne County

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