WILKES-BARRE – It’s a May primary election do-over for Schuylkill and Carbon county voters who cast ballots in the Hazleton Area School Board race.
A special election will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 23, Chief County Solicitor David Pedri said Wednesday.
Two county judges ordered the election because Luzerne County failed to notify the two neighboring counties that a candidate had withdrawn from the race.
Attorney Bill Vinsko filed a petition in June on behalf of Hazleton Area School District candidate Carmella Yenkevich and 24 others, requesting a new election in Schuylkill and Carbon counties.
Steven Hahn received votes in the May primary in both Schuylkill and Carbon counties. Hahn’s name was correctly not included on the Luzerne County ballot.
“We had a good meeting yesterday with Schuylkill and Carbon counties where all parties openly discussed the matter,” said Pedri. “We all came to a conclusion regarding the best way to handle this. Our main goal is to make sure (the election) is done correctly and fairly in accordance with Pennsylvania law.”
The election results will be certified on July 26 and added to the Luzerne County election numbers to declare nomination winners, Pedri said.
Two polling places in Carbon County will be open for voters and five in Schuylkill County — where the polling places fall into the Hazleton Area School District, Pedri said.
“Only the people who voted in the (May primary) will be able to vote in this one,” said Pedri, noting poll workers will have booklets available to match up if a voter had voted and is permitted to vote again.
The special election will be advertised in area newspapers and on the Schuylkill and Carbon county websites, he said.
Provisional ballots will be available for those who cannot go to polling places to cast ballots, Pedri said.
“This is a unique situation,” said Pedri. “I contacted every (candidate) last night and spoke with each of them to let them know the situation. Everyone I spoke with had questions and seemed anxious to finalize this matter and to move forward.”
Pedri said he spent a lot of time researching an appropriate time line to allow for absentee ballots to be submitted and to have the election done by the court-ordered date of July 26.
The manner in which this election will be conducted is a more expensive version than his original suggestion of mailed ballots, said Pedri, but he is unsure what the final cost will be.