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Juniata Co. polling spots to be opened

Locations will be ready by Election Day on June 2

MIFFLINTOWN — As Election Day nears, many questions have been raised about how proceedings will unfold. Eva Weyrich, Voter Registrar from Juniata County said the county’s 18 polling places are all scheduled to be open on June 2 as of now.

Based on new safety regulations, extensive measures will be taken to ensure the health and safety of the voters and location staff. Weyrich sought to assure the public that voting will be safe.

“We are doing our best to make each polling place safe for voters and poll workers,” she said. “We plan to follow the guidelines set by the CDC and the Department of Health to the best of our ability by supplying each location with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, masks and disposable pens. Someone will be at the door to ensure social distancing is being maintained. We have agreed to let only a few voters in at a time.”

For those interested and eligible to vote, there is the option of applying for a mail-in ballot. The last day to register to vote in this election is May 18 and the last day to apply for an absentee or mail-in ballot is May 26. Mail-in ballots may also be hand delivered to the courthouse. This may be done by placing them in the designated bin inside the door of the Bridge Street entrance at the Juniata County Courthouse in Mifflintown.

The board will begin to count absentee and mail-in ballots on 9 a.m. June 3.

Voters planning on going to the physical polling locations should keep in mind locations may experience larger than normal backlogs due to the social distancing regulations. It is recommended to go to the locations during the day if possible, to help avoid overcrowding.

“As always, our office takes great pride in running every election with integrity and in accordance with current election laws,” Weyrich said.

Those with concerns or questions about the election may call the voter registration office at (717) 436-7706.

Other important updates were given from local organizations and the Juniata County School District.

Rhonda Moore, Executive Director of the Juniata River Valley Chamber of Commerce said, “Our chamber as well as chambers across the region have partnered with Geisinger. They have put together a virtual workshop called ‘Back to Business’ to help our small businesses as they plan the next stage.”

The Back to Business workshop will be held from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. today. This workshop will cover the impact that COVID-19 has had on the region. It will also cover things like the latest vaccine updates and COVID-19 symptoms, as well as tips on how to keep customers and employees safe such as using masks, cleaning and social distancing.

To join or register, go to scrantonchamber.com or visit the Chamber’s Facebook page.

Moore also added that the PA Chamber launched a new website, www.bringingpaback.com. The website will offer information about workplace readiness, clean and safety standards, policy recommendations and other valuable advice for businesses as they begin to reopen.

Juniata County School District Assistant Superintendent Christie Holderman shared updates on graduation.

“Now that we are in May and approaching the close of school and graduation and end-of-year senior activities, we are working on alternate plans to hold those different activities. We are looking at virtual Class Night, sports banquets, presentations and whatever opportunities we can for graduation. We have had the drive-in movie theater offer that to us and I know the principals at Juniata and East Juniata high schools are both collecting information on what would be the best scenario for graduation if we are unable to complete the ceremonies in person.”

In an update from the Juniata Valley Food Pantry, Linsey Shoop said, “Everything is going well. The Central Food Bank is still providing an abundance of food to us and Weis and Giant food donations have grown significantly. This has helped us meet the needs of our community and our growing clientele. Last month, we welcomed 21 new families. And the donations are really helping with the spike in clients coming in. Even after this pandemic, there may still be a need. It may take months for people to financially recover from the economic impacts that this pandemic has caused. So, continue to keep your local services in mind.”

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