As of 6 p.m., the county had processed 21,000 of the 29,661 mail-in ballots.

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

BEAVER, Pa. (KDKA) – It’s all hands on deck in Beaver County as the final county employees count mail-ballots to finish up on Wednesday.

Starting at 8:30 a.m., nearly three dozen county employees were spread throughout the hall and into a room in the basement taking each and every ballot out of the envelopes.

County Commissioners told KDKA they waited until Wednesday to start because they wanted their own people, not volunteers, monitoring this task.

As of 6 p.m., the county had processed 21,000 of the 29,661 mail-in ballots, which is 72 percent.

Commissioner Dan Camp said there were a few scanner jams, but the real issue he hopes the legislature addresses is the long task of opening two envelopes by hand.

“We were fortunate that we had mail-in ballots due to COVID-19, but it was the wrong time to test this system out. We should have been able to pre-canvass these weeks before, so we would have had them prepped and ready for Election Day. That could have changed our decision in Beaver County to count them, but because we had to open 60,000 envelopes in one day, it was really daunting,” Camp said.

When opening the ballots, it was done by precincts.

As for mail-in ballots postmarked Tuesday, but received Wednesday, there were five.

While Beaver County waited to count mail-in ballots, counties like Butler and Allegheny started yesterday. Both counties put those counts on pause overnight — Butler because of a scanner malfunction, Allegheny to give workers a break.

Statewide as of late Wednesday morning, Gov. Wolf and Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar echoed their call that counting all ballots in Pennsylvania could take days.

“We are exactly where we said we would be,” Boockvar said.

She says the state is approaching 50% in the mail-in ballot count; however, there are still millions left to tally.

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