This is the first time in a general election that the Pennsylvanians can vote by post without reason. During the June primary election, concerns about signing COVID-19 in polls resulted in a much higher number of mail ballots than expected, leaving some counties up to two weeks. vote count – and the final result changed the result in the other 10 races on the ballot.
Mail ballots take longer to count than direct ballots. This process involves checking signatures, opening two envelopes and scanning ballots, while ballots at the ballots are simply recorded digitally using the voting machine and backed up on the ballot. paper.
Local officials ask the state legislature to allow them to initiate some processes before Election Day, which would reduce the pressure significantly. The legislature voted to extend mail voting by the end of 2019, before COVID-19 intervened. Despite bipartisan support for pre-period mining, the state’s GOP legislative leaders were unable to reach an agreement with Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat.
Now, at least seven counties say they won’t even start to open mail ballots until November 4, so the direct elections on Election Day, are expected to have more Republicans, will be counted prior to mail-based voting, likely to favor Biden.
Because the mail ballots will be processed after the November 4 live voting, the early unofficial results are likely to suggest that Mr. Trump is winning when the polls are over, in when Biden may have to wait to close the gap until mail ballots are counted.
Another factor is the state Supreme Court’s decision to extend the time limit for counties to accept ballots returned by mail to three days after Election Day, as long as they do not show the postmark. after November 3. That ruling came after the Post office warned top state election officials that they could not deliver and return the ballots within the time specified for the state election. state. In the primary election, more than 100,000 ballots reached district offices after the election.
The US Supreme Court could still process the state’s supreme court, although it rejected the Pennsylvania GOP proposal to suspend the state court’s decision and expedite the appeal.
“I’m reluctant to conclude that there simply isn’t enough time on this late day to decide the question before the election,” Supreme Court Judge Samuel Alito wrote. “However, that doesn’t mean the state court’s decision has to get out of our review.”
Counties must separate late ballots in case the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Republican Party and ordered that late ballots be excluded.
Pennsylvania also faces another potential problem withThe state requires voters to be provided with two ballot-by-mail ballot envelopes, an envelope with a postmark on the outside and a secret envelope inside to protect the ballot from tampering.
Some voters bypass the secret envelope in the primary, and most counties count their votes. State law does not explicitly require ballots that lack secret envelopes to be removed, and counties are advised to count bare ballots in the preliminary round. But the state supreme court ruled in September “the only way to be sure no fraud happens is to reject all bare votes,” a move that could harm parties. Democrats disproportionately because they are expected to vote by mail at a higher rate than Republicans. .