PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ballots are being scanned once again in Allegheny County after workers were given a much-needed break early Wednesday morning.
The workers stopped around 2:30 a.m. after working for 22 hours straight. They started back up again just after 10 a.m.
On Tuesday, they had about 348,000 mail-in ballots. They counted about 173,000 on Tuesday and they are now in the process of going through the remainder.
As of 8 p.m. Wednesday, Allegheny County spokesperson Amy Downs said 93,699 ballots have been scanned and 633,468 ballots have been cast in the county. The county ended counting for the day around 10:55 p.m.
There are thousands of ballots though that won’t be counted until Friday. Also, about 29,000 ballots will be reviewed manually through the Return Board process. They will be reviewed by the elections staff, in consultation with the law department, to see if they will be counted.
But, according to election officials, they’ll also be putting aside ballots that have the “naked” ballot issue, or don’t have a date, or perhaps the secrecy envelope has markings that could reveal a voters identity. Some could be ineligible and may not be counted.
As for the long process? Allegheny County election officials are asking people to be patient.
“We got a state Supreme Court decision that says ballots can be received through 5 p.m. Friday; and right now, that’s the law, so we have no choice but to honor that law,” Allegheny County Solicitor Andy Szefi said. “I would ask people to be patient. We knew going into this process that it wasn’t going to be done yesterday or today because of that extension, and that’s where we are now. We’re just living in the reality we knew that was coming.”
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Allegheny County Elections Board member Sam DeMarco said the process at the county election warehouse is transparent and workers are under bipartisan supervision.
“It would be hard to believe that someone would risk their livelihood, their job and their pension by taking or committing some sort of bribe,” he said.
KDKA has been told the process, for the most part, has been smooth.
The county solicitor says a few jams did happen and slowed down the process, but that’s not uncommon and was expected given the large amount of mail-in ballots.
Keep it here on KDKA for the latest throughout the day as we continue to learn more.
For live results of all election races in Pennsylvania, visit KDKA’s 2020 General Election results page.