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Last updated: February 19. 2013 3:35PM - 716 Views

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A total 194,121 Luzerne County residents are registered to vote in Tuesday’s general election, when voters will choose the next president and other federal and state officials, according to fresh tallies from county contracted election manager Marisa Crispell-Barber.

The county has 110,903 registered Democrats, 63,940 Republicans and 19,278 Independent and third-party voters, she said.

Voters in three municipalities also will decide referendum questions about the addition of two supervisor seats in Butler Township, home rule charter amendments in Kingston Township and a proposed switch to home rule in Pittston.

Crispell-Barber provided some of the need-to-know basics about voting in Tuesday’s election, particularly for the nearly 5,000 new voters the county has added since the April primary.

Q: With all the confusion over the state’s new voter ID law, what identification is required Tuesday?

A: Everyone will be asked for identification, but identification is NOT required except for first-time voters.

Q: Who is a first-time voter?

A: Someone who never voted in that precinct before, never voted in our county before or never voted period. If you voted in Wyoming County and moved to Luzerne County and haven’t voted in Luzerne County before, you’d be a first-time voter. If you moved from one precinct to another in the same municipality since you last voted, you’d be a first-time voter in the new precinct.

Q: What identification is acceptable if you’re a first-time voter?

A: In this election, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a photo ID. It could be a firearm permit or a current utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or government check. It could be a voter identification card or non-photo identification issued by the state or federal government. This identification must include the name and address of the voter.

Q: What type of photo ID is acceptable for first-time voters or others who want to voluntarily comply?

A: A PA driver’s license or ID card issued by PennDOT, an ID issued by any other state or federal agency, a U.S. passport or U.S. armed forces ID or student or employee identification.

Q: What if first-time voters forget identification?

A: You’re more than welcome to retrieve identification and come back. If not, you would have to vote on a provisional ballot instead of the electronic voting machines.

Q: What happens if you cast a provisional ballot?

A: A county return board determines your residency and decides if your ballot will be counted or not.

Q: Why will all voters be asked for ID if it’s only required for first-timers?

A: We have received direction from the state that polling places must ask all voters for ID. It’s still expected that the ID law is going to take full effect for the primary of 2013. If you don’t have ID or choose not to show it on Tuesday, we will just hand you a flier about the ID law.

Q: When can I vote?

A: The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Q: When are absentee ballots due?

A: The deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Monday. We have to physically have ballots in our hands Monday evening at our office at 20 North Pennsylvania Ave., Suite 207, Wilkes-Barre.

We will accept military and oversee absentee ballots until 5 p.m. Nov. 13 if they’re postmarked by Nov. 5.

Q: How many absentee ballots were mailed for the general?

A: The county issued 7,399 absentees, and 5,723 ballots were returned as of Friday afternoon.

Q: Where do I vote?

A: The county’s 189 polling places have not changed since the 2012 primary election. A list of all polling places is on the election section of the website at www.luzernecounty.org.

Q: How do I report problems at the polls?

A: Call the election bureau at (570) 825-1715.

Q: How will results be reported?

A: The courthouse rotunda in Wilkes-Barre will be open to the public for election-night results, and live results will be posted on the county website after the polls close.

Check out your ballot

Voters may obtain information on their polling place and familiarize themselves with their ballot ahead of time by visiting The Times Leader’s online ballot finder at http://tlgets.me/ballot.


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