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Monroe County prepares for primary election

Officials in Monroe County are busy organizing mail-in ballots and preparing for people at the polls during the pandemic.

MONROE COUNTY, Pa. — Sara May-Silfee is the Monroe County Director of Elections and Voter Registrations.

She says preparing for this primary election posed a new challenge.

Her office sent out nearly 18,000 mail-in ballots, which is the highest number they've ever sent out.  

"Everybody is stressed. I'm stressed. My staff is stressed and rightfully so. It's just a lot for not a large enough staff, you could put it that way," said Silfee.

For the first time, registered voters had the option to apply for a mail-in ballot for any reason.

People who choose to vote in person will see extra precautions due to COVID-19.

"Preparing to protect the poll workers with masks and face shields and hand sanitizer and disinfecting spray."

People are asked to practice social distancing of six feet and wear a mask when they come to vote, but for Monroe County, wearing a mask is not mandatory.

"If somebody doesn't have one, they can be offered one, but we would never turn anyone away from voting."

Monroe County election officials are doing everything they can to follow the COVID-19 yellow phase guidelines.

They're asking if you bring your mask on Tuesday, bring something else:  patience.

"Just be patient. They're there working thankfully because we had a lot of trouble getting workers."

The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Mail-in ballots must be turned in at the voter registration office in Stroudsburg by the time the polls close.