Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Election board readies for primary

- By Rachel Ravina rravina@thereporte­ronline.com

The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, and all mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on election night. Visit vote.pa.gov for more informatio­n.

Along with the presidenti­al primary, several congressio­nal and state candidates will be on the ballot. Locally, the Municipali­ty of Norristown will hold a special election where voters will choose a seat left vacant after a candidate was ineligible to take office. Norristown Councilwom­an Lauren Hughes, a Democrat has been serving on an interim basis and is running for the seat in the municipali­ty’s fourth district against Republican Antonio Davila.

Relocating 17 polling places and extending hours of operation at area voter services satellite offices in Lansdale, Lower Merion, Norristown, Pottstown, and Willow Grove were at the top of the list at a recent meetng of the county board of elections. Both actions were ultimately approved by the board.

Election officials cited a religious holiday as the reason for relocation of a majority of the polling places, as the primary election falls on Passover. Precincts in Abington, Douglass, East Norriton, Lower Merion, Norristown, Upper Dublin, Upper Merion, Whitemarsh, and Whitpain townships were impacted, according to voter services documents obtained by MediaNews Group.

“This year, Pennsylvan­ia’s primary election takes place over the Jewish holiday of Passover. It was an unfortunat­e, and frankly, thoughtles­s decision on the part of the legislatur­e to hold this election on Passover,” said Montgomery County Board of Elections Chairman Neil Makhija.

Makhija stressed the importance of outreach and increasing accessibil­ity to accommodat­e voters.

“Without these steps, many in the Jewish community would be unable to participat­e in this year’s primary election,” he said. “With more locations to visit and satellite hours beginning the first weekend of April, we will make sure every voter has access to vote and time to cast their ballots for the primary election.”

Francis Dean, Montgomery County’s director of elections, clarified that voters, political committees as well as the new and old polling places were notified of the changes.

The Montgomery County Office of Voter Services is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at One Montgomery Plaza, 425 Swede St., Norristown. The Norristown-based office will also be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 6, and a drop box will be installed on April 13 in the building’s lobby. It will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends and 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Election Day, according to a county spokespers­on.

Additional satellite offices will be open at the following locations: 421 W. Main Street, Lansdale; 925 Montgomery Ave., Narberth, Lower Merion Township; 364 King St., Pottstown; and 102 N. York Road, Willow Grove.

“The satellite offices are great options for voters who wish to cast their ballot early without receiving or sending their ballot in the mail,” said Montgomery

County Board of Elections Vice Chairwoman Jamila Winder in a statement.

While the polling place item was unanimous, Montgomery County Commission­er Tom DiBello expressed some reservatio­ns about the “cost for extended hours” and was the sole dissenting vote on that item that passed 2-1.

County officials also noted 11 drop boxes will be available 24 hours per day starting on April 13 until the polls close at 8 p.m. on Election Day.

• Cheltenham: Township Tax Office, 8230 Old York Rd, Elkins Park

• Lansdale: District Court 38-1-28, 430 Pennbrook Pkwy., Lansdale

• Lower Merion: Ludington Library, 5 S. Bryn Mawr Ave., Bryn Mawr

• Norristown: Airy Street Parking Lot, at the corner of Airy and DeKalb streets, Norristown

• Pottstown: Montgomery County Health Clinic, 364 King St., Pottstown

• Royersford: Victory Park Parking Lot, intersecti­on of Second and Arch streets, Royersford

• Skippack: Montgomery County 4H Center, 1015 Bridge Road, Collegevil­le

• Upper Dublin: Upper Dublin Library, 520 Virginia Drive, Fort Washington

• Upper Frederick: Green Lane Park Office, 2144 Snyder Road, Green Lane

• Upper Merion: Upper Merion Township Building, 175 W. Valley Forge Road, King of Prussia

• Upper Moreland: Willow Grove Annex • 102 N. York Road, Willow Grove

Call the Montgomery County Office of Voter Services at 610-278-3280 or visit montgomery­countypa.gov/ VoterServi­ces for more informatio­n about the 2024 election in Montgomery County.

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