“A new wave of election directors step in to fill Pa.’s many vacancies — with little training and varying experience”

Spotlight PA:

Among the most stressed-out folks in local government this week will be the former manager of the USA Field Hockey team, a congressman’s past chief of staff, and an ex-political science professor.

They’ll all be running elections in Pennsylvania for the first time during Tuesday’s primaries — and they will do it under the microscope of a skeptical GOP electorate galvanized by Republicans in the state legislature.

After what election directors described as a “nightmare” election in 2020 — in which huge changes to Pennsylvania’s voting process were complicated by the pandemic and partisan misinformation fueled by former President Donald Trump and his allies — at least 25 of their peers left their jobs.

Five months later, most of those positions have been filled, but not everyone has the same level of experience as their predecessors. For the newest election directors, their first real test will come Tuesday, when thousands of Pennsylvanians will cast a ballot in the primaries.

“The view from the consumer side of the counter, and the view from this side of the counter, is tremendously different,” said Bob Morgan, who started as Luzerne County election director a mere six weeks ago after leaving a job as U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwight’s chief of staff. “It’s a little bit like drinking from the firehose.”

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