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Polling place selfies OK in November

County commissioners approve change

September 19, 2018 News Extra

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Now you can tell your friends with more than a sticker that you performed your civic duty.

If Kim Kardashian ever moves to Butler County, she'll be sure to vote.

County commissioners at their Wednesday meeting approved a measure that now allows voters to use their cell phones at their polling places.

Cell phones were previously prohibited, said Shari Brewer, director of the county's elections bureau.

“If someone wants to take a selfie while voting ...” Brewer said in explaining her request that the commissioners reverse the rule, “welcome to 2018.”

While the commissioners and several row officers at the meeting stifled a collective chuckle, commissioners Chairman Leslie Osche made what she called the “selfie motion.”

The action passed unanimously.

Brewer said state Attorney General Josh Shapiro sent a memorandum to all county election bureaus encouraging them to reverse the prohibition of cell phones at polling places so that voters can snap themselves doing their civic duty.

She said cell phones can be used inside polling places as long as they are not a distraction to other voters or the voting process.

“There have been a lot of court cases on it,” said Mike English, county solicitor.

The commissioners vote comes just in time for the general election on Nov. 6.

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Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs

Paula Grubbs is a Butler County native who has been with the Butler and Cranberry Eagle newspapers since June 2000. Grubbs has covered the Mars School District and Middlesex Township for over 20 years with the Eagle and her former employer, the Cranberry Journal. She also covers Adams Township, Evans City and Mars in addition to events and incidents throughout Southwestern Butler County as assigned. Grubbs has taken the lead at the Cranberry Eagle in reporting on shale gas development, which has been a hotly debated topic in the recent past, both locally and nationally. A 1979 graduate of Butler Senior High School and a 1994 graduate of Geneva College, Grubbs has won a Golden Quill and four Keystone state awards, plus an award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Grubbs enjoys following the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers, volunteers with the Connoquenessing Creek Cleanup each summer, and loves spending time outdoors and bird watching at her Penn Township home. Grubbs is the daughter of James R. Davis Sr., of Center Township, and the late Maxine Davis. She has two grown children, Jacqueline and Thomas.