Lehigh County election workers fight sleep, finger cuts to count thousands of ballots in “Super Bowl” of elections

Written by on November 4, 2020

Lehigh County election workers fight sleep, finger cuts to count thousands of ballots in “Super Bowl” of elections

Please be patient: We most likely won’t know the results of the Nov. 3 election in Pa. and across the country for several days. Find out more about how WLVR News will cover election night and after.

By Tyler Pratt

November 4, 2020

Lehigh County’s top elections official, Tim Benyo, estimates two-thirds of mail-in votes may be counted by this evening. He and some other workers haven’t slept yet and that a small crew opened thousands of ballots last night. He’s unsure at the moment if they will pull another all-nighter. Photo| Tyler Pratt

Lehigh County’s top elections official Tim Benyo estimates two-thirds of mail-in ballots will be counted by this evening. However, Benyo is unsure currently if they will tally overnight. WLVR’s Tyler Pratt met up with one election worker as she wrapped up her shift Wednesday morning. 

Listen to the story.

Victoria Rose sat in the basement of the county government center with a slew of other workers. She was among eight who stayed overnight sorting thousands of ballots. She looked down at her fingers. 

“My cuticles are busted up – look I’m bleeding. I gotta get a glove right now. I just saw that,” she said.

Victoria Rose and other workers have been working non-stop to open, process, and count mail-in ballots. Photo | Tyler Pratt

While the county has envelope slicing machines, votes are packaged in two sets. Workers still have to carefully pry them open and then stack them to be counted. Rose says she’s gone through, quote, “mad lots.’

“What drives me is that this is like a record breaking election. It’s almost like watching the Super Bowl, or almost like watching a good heavyweight boxing fight, and I want to know the outcome just like every other voice out there.”

Rose says seeing all the other workers come in this morning inspired her to keep going. She clocked out to go see her family and says she’s coming back later to count more. 

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