Pa. Secretary of State: Votes will be counted ‘accurately and securely’

Written by on November 3, 2020

Pa. Secretary of State: Votes will be counted ‘accurately and securely’

By James Doubek/ NPR

November 3, 2020

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.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 17: A voter casts her early voting ballot at drop box outside of City Hall on October 17, 2020 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With the election only a little more than two weeks away, a new form of in-person early voting by using mail ballots has enabled millions of voters to already cast their ballots. President Donald Trump won the battleground state of Pennsylvania by only 44,000 votes in 2016, the first Republican to do so since President George Bush in 1988. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar says President Trump’s attempts to undermine voters’ faith in elections — especially when it comes to voting by mail — haven’t worked in the crucial swing state.

More than 2.5 million people had already voted by mail in Pennsylvania before polls opened Tuesday, Boockvar said. That’s about 40% of the total turnout from four years ago and 10 times the number who voted by mail in 2016.

“No matter how you vote, there’s really intense processes in place to make sure every vote is eligible and that every eligible vote is counted accurately and securely,” Boockvar told NPR’s Rachel Martin on Morning Edition. State and local officials have worked to inform voters of their options and the message has been heard “loud and clear,” Boockvar says.

With its 20 electoral votes, Pennsylvania will be one of the most closely watched states in the nation on election night. Republicans in the state had sought to block counting ballots arriving after Election Day. But the U.S. Supreme Court declined to overturn a decision by the state Supreme Court allowing absentee ballots received as late as this Friday to be counted so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

Boockvar, a Democrat, says the “overwhelming majority of ballots,” both mailed and in person, will be counted “within a couple of days.”

“The counties are counting 24/7,” she says. “They are just completely dedicated to counting every vote accurately as quickly as humanly possible.”

Pennsylvania narrowly went for Trump in 2016 after going Democratic in the previous six general elections. Biden and Trump have both campaigned heavily in the state, which could be the final arbiter of the presidency.

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