World News – US – Increase of 100,000 provisional Pa ballots could further delay nomination of winner


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HARRISBURG – Those across the country keen to declare the winner in Pennsylvania may have to wait a little longer because of a flood of provisional ballots, most of which are only counted now in a process that takes much more time than counting votes in person or by mail

As of Friday morning, 56 of the state’s 67 counties reported around 85,000 provisional votes based on a partial tally, a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania State Department said House of Commons Speaker Bryan Cutler told reporters on Friday he said the number could exceed 100,000

Provisional ballots are issued when a voter ‘s eligibility is in question And so far 2020 appears to be a banner year, mainly due to the expansion of unapologetic mail voting by the ‘State

Any voter who requested a ballot in the mail but did not receive it – or who forgot or lost their ballot or envelopes – could still vote at the polls on polling day using a ballot There were also reports on election day that some voters were told to vote provisionally even though they brought their entire postal ballot to the polls, which should have enabled them to vote. vote in person

Usually, county officials do not review provisional ballots until the in-person, mail and mail ballots have been counted This is why many counties have not started only after 5 p.m. Friday deadline for accepting ballots sent out before polling day Late ballots are separated because they are subject to a pending U Supreme Court case

But at least one county got a jump in the provisional counting process York County officials chose to start reviewing the provisional ballots on Friday morning This means workers will have to crosscheck those ballots with those who arrive at 5 pm, York County spokesman Mark Walters said

York County officials to process 5,375 provisional ballots, according to Walters That’s about 22 times more than in 2016

Unlike mail-in ballots, which have scannable barcodes that track where they are in the prospecting process, provisional ballots must be separated and dealt with individually State law requires counties to complete processing of provisional ballots by next Tuesday

« Nothing in the interim process is easy, » said Jeff Greenburg, regional director of the National Vote at Home Institute and former chief electoral officer for Mercer County

Like postal ballots, employees remove a provisional ballot from a secret envelope and scan it in a machine But it’s the administrative process that comes before and after that takes so long, said Greenburg

Firstly, county employees should investigate each ballot and make sure the voter is registered and eligible to vote They should also make sure that the person has not already voted Once the vote is recorded or canceled, county employees must enter the result of each exam for each ballot into a state web portal that allows provisional voters to research the fate of their ballot

“It took our county a day and a half to make just over 8,000 mail-in ballots in June,” Greenburg said. “It took us two and a half days to make 650 provisional, due labor-intensive work required « 

In his previous 13 years as Chief Electoral Officer in Mercer County, Greenburg estimated his office received around 200 provisional ballots in total during that entire period.

Counties that have seen large increases in provisionals still have hours of work ahead of them Walters said York County has seven full-time election service employees and has tasked nearly 100 other county employees with finish counting votes

Ray Murphy, state coordinator at Keystone Votes, said a large number of provisional ballots generally indicated a “systemic problem.” He referred to the 2012 election, when Philadelphia ran into problems with its base. electoral data

The November increase was largely due to the enactment of the State Postal Voting Law in 2019

In an effort to limit the effect of postal voting on provisional ballots, lawmakers passed a new rule allowing voters on Nov 3 to bring their ballot with them to the polls, have it spoiled, then vote in person through the normal process

Suzanne Almeida, Acting Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, said she heard problems arise in counties where election officials may not have received proper training on how to spoil a ballot by correspondence at the ballot box, and ordered voters to vote provisionally when they did not no need

« Where this is the case, we certainly need to increase the training of polling officers and make sure that everyone abides by the law as it is written, » said Almeida. « I don’t think it is ‘was malicious or whatever It’s just that there were a lot of new rules this year, there were a lot of new election agents this year « 

Making things a little more complicated, a new state appeals court ruling on Friday orders counties to overturn provisional ballots cast by voters who were told there were a problem with their original ballot These so-called « healed » ballots have become a target for State Republicans and President Donald Trump

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Ballot, provisional ballot, York County

News from around the world – US – More than 100,000 provisional ballots in Pennsylvania could further delay nomination of a winner


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