Surge in mail-in, absentee ballots could delay election results

Election

BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Pennsylvania’s primary is Tuesday, June 2nd, but the process will be different this year due to COVID-19.

Residents of Blair County can continue to bring their ballots to the courthouse up until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, but so far, they’ve processed 12,000 absentee and mail-in ballots and won’t start really counting them until after that deadline.

The Blair County Elections Office is expecting 12,500 mail-in and absentee ballots, which affects when you could see results.

“We have over 90 precincts, so you can imagine that that’s going to take most of the week to open the envelopes, and then we still have to get to the write in votes, so we will then start after that process of tallying the write-in votes,” Chief Clerk of Blair County Nicole Hemminger said.

When a ballot is returned, the office opens the envelope, checks that the ballot is valid, then organizes it by precinct. Hemminger said it is statutorily required that they wait until all polling places are closed to run the first 3,500 ballots through the counting system.

“Once everything is ready for scanning in the precinct, we’ll take those over and scan them in, and we have to do that for all of our precincts,” she said.

Folks also have until that time on Tuesday to bring in their ballots to the courthouse.

“We could see results many days after, maybe the week after, so we wanna set expectations to be that of about a week out,” Hemminger said.

Because many people decided to use mail-in ballots this year, it may take longer to vote in-person.

Workers will be checking the polling book as well as an absentee ballot list to make sure you haven’t already cast your vote.

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