Erie County officials discuss applications for emergency ballots as Election Day approaches

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A surge in COVID-19 cases is causing some Erie County residents problems casting their votes, just before the election. However, there is a solution for someone in quarantine.

The emergency ballot application could help anyone experiencing a last minute emergency.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Erie County, which could leave some residents questioning how they’re going to cast their vote.

“Emergency ballots are a special category of paper ballot, which comes into effect starting today, the day after the mail-in ballot deadline.” said Doug Smith, Erie County Clerk of Elections.

A voter diagnosed with COVID-19 and is in quarantine between now and Election Day could apply for an emergency ballot, but must fill out an application, and have a representative pick one up for you.

“Pick up two forms, and authorization form for being their representative and the emergency ballot application. Then they drop that back off to you. You, the voter, must fill those out.” said Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper.

If you can’t find a designee to drop off your emergency ballot, a county official or representative could pick it up on your behalf.

This ballot also extends to voters that may find themselves in other emergencies and can not get to the polls.

The Erie County Board of Elections believes with a spike in COVID-19 cases, more residents could apply for a ballot if they qualify.

“Just in general with the COVID situation being with what it is, people being suddenly ill, and don’t want to expose others may want to pursue an emergency ballot in that situation.” Smith said.

Smith says that more than 20 residents have already applied for the ballot.

The deadline to apply for an emergency ballot is Election Day.

If you are in a situation where you may need one, you can apply online or have someone stop by the Erie County Court House.

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