Bradford Township voter Sam Lansberry prides himself for always being the first one through the door to vote on election day.
“I had a couple of occasions where there were a couple ladies who thought I would hold the door for them to go in, and I don’t want to be rude, but I said, ‘I’ll hold the door for you all day long, but you’re not going in ahead of me. I’m going to that counter first,'” said Lansberry.
Now that has all changed. The Clearfield County elections office began looking into their own voting procedures after the 2016 presidential election.
“Now more than ever, we have to be careful that people are voting according to proper procedure and in the correct location, so it’s critical people vote in the right place,” said Clearfield County Commissioner John Sobel.
They discovered Lansberry, along with about 400 other registered voters in Bradford Township weren’t following a 1985 court order.
The order created the two voting precincts in the township, but residents say it was never enforced. So they voted at whichever precinct was closest to them.
“We have a practical situation where a lot of folks are used to voting somewhere, believing that is the correct place to vote and it turned out it was not the correct place to vote,” Sobel said.
Together, the voters and the township made a new precinct map and filed a petition asking the court and the county to adjust the precinct lines.
“All we want to do is continue to vote where it’s convenient for us,” said Lansberry. “Where we’ve been doing it.”
The county said their suggested map still needs some changes, but they want to work with Bradford Township voters.
The problem will not likely be fixed before election day, but that won’t stop Lansberry.
“As important as the election is, I may try to get people to haul people out there to vote,” said Lansberry.
He’ll do what he can to get people to the right polls.