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Pennsylvania acting Secretary of State Leigh M. Chapman said during a news conference that the state’s midterm election could likely experience delays in counting the ballots.
Chapman said the news conference was held to prevent misinformation from spreading before the November 8 election day approaches, according to local media.
“It’s really important for us to get accurate information about the election process in Pennsylvania,” Chapman said. “So voters and the public know that when there are delays in counting, it doesn’t mean that there’s anything nefarious happening. It’s just what the law is in Pennsylvania.”
Chapman told NBC that results for the U.S. Senate and governor races would not be available on election night because of a state law restricting when officials could begin counting mail-in ballots. However, Chapman also said she believes the spread of misinformation could lead to voting interruptions.
Chapman said that since she has taken office at the beginning of the year, state officials have met with authorities from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to discuss the “current threat landscape.”
The state official added that tools would be provided to Pennsylvania counties to ensure election officials would have physical and cyber security protections.
In response to Republican leaders telling voters to drop off their ballots in election drop boxes or turn them in on Election Day rather than mailing in their votes, Chapman said voters should return the ballots as soon as possible to prevent further delay.
Phillip Holloway, a former major crimes prosecutor, police officer, and founder of the Holloway Law Group, said in a tweet that such ballot-counting tactics are becoming “the norm.”
“Gone are the days when election winners were revealed late on election night,” Holloway said. “This new normal for elections cannot lead to public confidence in election integrity.”
During the 2020 presidential election, media outlets declared Joe Biden the winner for Pennsylvania on November 7 — four days after Election Day.
According to Chapman, more than 1.3 million Pennsylvania residents have requested mail-in ballots, with approximately 556,000 returned.
InsiderAdvantage released a poll Thursday showing Republican Mehmet Oz leads Democrat John Fetterman for Pennsylvania’s open U.S. Senate seat by three points, while in the governor’s race, Democrat Josh Shapiro continues to hold off Republican Doug Mastriano by eight points.
The survey of 750 likely Pennsylvania voters was conducted on October 26 with a margin of error of 3.58%.