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Going to the polls in a pandemic

The coronavirus didn't keep everyone away from the polls in Wayne County on this Primary Election Day.

BROWNDALE, Pa. — Without the masks, or the signs instructing voters to either throw away their pencils or take them home, or tape on the floor to help keep people 6 feet apart, you wouldn't really know this year's Primary Election Day was different than any other.

The room was empty when we arrived at the Browndale Fire Company, which serves as a polling place every year, but throughout the next hour, we saw plenty of cars pull into the lot to exercise their civic duty, pandemic or not.

"You have the right to vote, and you should use that right," said James Wisecal, a voter from Browndale.

Between COVID-19 and fewer races in Wayne County this year, nobody knew how many people were going to walk through the door. But so far, social distancing rules haven't kept too many people away.

"It was busier in the morning, obviously people are slowing down, a lot of people are mailing in ballots; they believe social distancing is key in this time," said poll worker Alex Kresock.

In the past month, Newswatch 16 has visited several elections offices, all overrun with mail-in ballot numbers no one has ever seen before.

People we spoke to on this Primary Election Day had different reasons for showing up in person.

"I believe that being here in person, I'm representing myself. I'm all for the mail-in ballots, I think that's a great option, but I chose to physically come here and do it," Kelly Reicherts said.

"I didn't see any reason for a mail-in ballot; I don't believe in the mail-in ballot. To me, that's just going to be fraud," Wisecal said.

"I was going to, but it's quiet around here, if you come early enough in the day, there's not a huge amount of people, so it's OK. I'll wear a mask," said Laura Retana.

The polls close at 8 p.m.

Get complete Newswatch 16 election coverage here.