As Pennsylvania Democrats, including Pennsylvania Attorney general Josh Shapiro, have fought against the Trump administration in order to delay the counting of ballots, with the Supreme Court ruling that ballots arriving up to three days after Election Day can be accepted in the state, the GOP may have a surprise for the Democrats: Seven Pennsylvania counties that voted for Trump in 2016 will not count mail-in ballots until the day after the election.
Officials in Beaver, Cumberland, Franklin, Greene, Juniata, Mercer and Montour stated that they would need more time to count the ballots because of a lack of staffing and resources, NBC News reported. Roughly 150,000 voters in the counties asked for mail-in ballots, state data reveals.
Samantha Krepps, a spokeswoman for Cumberland County, told CNN, “On Election Day we will report the poll numbers, but we have three days to start the canvassing of the mail-in ballot. So, we took the opportunity to focus our attention on the election at the polls and then we will switch gears the next day. It’s just a matter of getting the job done and we are focusing our attention on the polls because they are the most important thing on Election Day.”
Forest County, another county Trump won in 2016, was thinking of waiting to count their mail-in ballots.
Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by roughly 44,000 votes.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, a Democrat who worked for the civil rights organization Advancement Project and ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2012, but was appointed to her present position by Pennsylvania Democrat Governor Tom Wolf, said she is pushing for the Trump counties to start counting on Tuesday. She told reporters last week, “Even if you could only do part [of the process], to get started as early as humanly possible on Election Day matters for every single county of any size.” She stated, “I want every one of them starting it on Election Day,” as CBS Pittsburgh reported.
Trying hard to get the Trump counties counted on time, Boockvar said four counties had not applied for grant funding for more help, adding, “Please send us the receipts and we’re happy to give you the money.”
Beaver County Commissioner Jack Manning explained that pre-canvassing the votes, which entails opening mail-in ballots and prepping them for counting, would have helped, adding in an email to NBC News, “We do not have the capacity to work and securely oversee 129 polling venues, secure those election day votes and also simultaneously open up 35,000 mail-in votes and then start manually scanning after the polls close Tuesday.” He added, “We will handle and count the polling location votes Tuesday night and then start fresh in the morning on the mail-in ballots.”
Attorney General Shapiro has attacked Trump, snapping to The Washington Post, “We have a sitting president who’s actively trying to undermine this election. He’s doing that because he knows that if all legal eligible votes are counted, he’s more likely than not going to come out on the losing side here in Pennsylvania.”
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