Lehigh County election officials grapple with an unprecedented volume of mail-in ballots on Election Day

Written by on June 3, 2020

Lehigh County election officials grapple with an unprecedented volume of mail-in ballots on Election Day

By Chloe Nouvelle

June 3, 2020

Lehigh County sent out nearly 48-thousand mail-in ballots for this year’s primary election–more than election officials have ever tried to count on Election Day. 

WLVR’s Chloe Nouvelle has the story from election headquarters, where just down the street, Black Lives Matter protestors held an unrelated peaceful demonstration, and drivers honked in support.

In a corner room, deep in the basement of Lehigh county‘s government center in Allentown, about a dozen poll workers.. mostly women and .. all wearing masks… are opening paper ballots. Tim Benyo is the director of elections here.

“It’s completely different than anything we’ve ever been through.” 

The poll workers started the count at 7 a.m., as directed by the state. Opening envelopes, stacking paper, feeding ballots and counting your votes. 

By 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, they had counted about 15,000 paper ballots. Each ballot representing a single vote, is fed through machines called special count tabulators… what essentially looks like a large office printer.  

And Benyo says, they’ll be running the operation until all the votes are counted.


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