Americans may have to wait until after election night to find out who won the victory in Pennsylvania, because at least two counties in the state start counting mailed votes the day after the election.
Election officials in Cumberland and Butler Counties, both of which belong to the Republican Party, said they had too few employees to count votes while conducting election day activities.
According to state law, these counties are legal to wait. They can open the mailed envelope on the morning of election day, check signatures and scan ballots (this process is called “pre-canvas”), but they must wait until the polls are over at 8 pm to report the results.
When Butler and Cumberland made their decision, the United States adjusted its expectations of when it would know who won Pennsylvania, a state with 20 electoral votes. In the Pennsylvania primary election, this was the first election in Pennsylvania, allowing any voter to vote by mail, and some counties took two full weeks to calculate the result. As a result, the candidates who won the 1
In Cumberland County outside Harrisburg, the Election Commission issued a notice on Wednesday that it would not start canvassing until the morning of November 4. In this case, including all pre-canvassing activities, the county spokesperson told CBS News.
Daniel Camp, chairman of the Beaver County Commissioner, said that its election office has only six to eight employees and will not hire additional help to calculate votes.
He said: “During the election, we must go all out.” “We want to make sure that we ensure the integrity of the election. We don’t want anyone to vote publicly.”
Camp said the county hopes to complete the ballot counts received before election day by Friday, November 6.
Even if Cumberland and Butler postpone the results, they still may not be the last county to complete the count. The two combined have 330,000 registered voters, which is less than one-third of the number in Philadelphia, where officials took two weeks to determine the main results.
Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said that the law allows counties to start counting on the Friday after the election. At this time, she knows that only two counties plan to wait a day before counting starts.
In a phone call to reporters on Wednesday, she said: “I will strongly urge each county to start voting in advance on election day.” “Because it will take some time. And the sooner they start, the sooner they finish.”
The state has been hoping to complete some mail voting on election night. Fearing postal delays, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended the deadline for non-postmarking after election day in September.
Boockvar hopes that most votes will be counted on the Friday after election day, although it will be extended.
Camp also accused the Pennsylvania Legislature of expected delays because it will not change election laws to allow counties to begin pre-investigations before election day.
He said: “Our election committee lobbied state officials to amend the election law so that we can conduct preliminary elections two days in advance.” “We want to speed up this process.”
Electoral officials in other parts of the state also pleaded with the legislature throughout the year to let them start voting in advance before election day, which is allowed in at least 18 other states. However, negotiations between the Republican-led state legislature and the Democratic governor were of no avail.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly mistaken Daniel Camp for the Butler County Commissioner. He is the chairman of the Beaver County Commissioner. The story has been updated.