PA election results could take ‘days’, says Commonwealth Secretary

The results of Pennsylvania’s midterm elections could take « days » to compile, a state official said Wednesday.

Acting Commonwealth Secretary Leigh Chapman told NBC’s Chuck Todd that due to a state law limiting when mail-in ballots can begin to be counted, official results of crucial races for the US Senate and Governor’s Mansion will not be available on election night.

« Days, and it’s hard to estimate, » Chapman told Todd on « Meet the Press NOW » when asked how long it might take to declare a winner in a race that could decide which party controls. the Senate.

The acting secretary added that the state received about half of the 1.3 million mail-in and absentee ballots requested by Pennsylvania voters. These ballots cannot be opened until 7 a.m. on Election Day, unlike other states that « pre-inspect » mail-in ballots.

« The best we can do is just manage expectations and let voters know that election officials need to do their job, » Chapman said, adding « delays in results don’t mean anything is wrong. » pass ».

Official results from the US Senate and Governor’s Mansion will not be available on election night, according to Secretary of State Leigh Chapman.
AP/Marc Levy
ballot papers
Midterm election results in Pennsylvania may take longer than expected.
AP/Matt Rourke

In the 2020 presidential election, most news outlets didn’t declare Joe Biden the winner in Pennsylvania until November 7, four days after Election Day. Donald Trump started with a lead in the Keystone State on election night in 2020 before Democratic-leaning Philadelphia votes and mail-in ballots began to be counted, ultimately pushing Biden into the lead.

In the Pennsylvania Senate race, Democrat John Fetterman is just ahead of his Republican opponent, Dr. Mehmet Oz. An average of Real Clear Politics polls shows Fetterman leading Oz by 1.3 percentage points.

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman
Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman, Democratic candidate for the US Senate.
AP/Patrick Semansky
Republican Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz
Republican Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Getty Images/Mark Makela

« That doesn’t mean the ballots are coming out of nowhere, » Chapman said of the expected delay in announcing the race results.

“It is because of this restriction that we cannot begin pre-processing or soliciting these votes until election morning,” she said.


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