The Coming Pennsylvania Nightmare?

5268e-pennsylvania_counties_mapAs the November election approaches, Pennsylvania is a key swing state. Trump won Pennsylvania by 44,000 votes in 2016. Though Biden currently leads in the polls, a lot will change between now and November. The election here will be close.

Last year, Governor Tom Wolf signed no-excuse mail-in ballot voting into law.  This means that any citizen can cast an absentee ballot. This system will get a test run on June 2 when Pennsylvania holds its presidential primary.

Because of these changes, it is going to take a long time–perhaps days–before we know which candidate won Pennsylvania on November 3, 2020. Here is a taste of Holly Otterbein’s piece at Politico:

“My nightmare is that on Election Day in November, you’re waiting for Montgomery County’s results to declare Pennsylvania to declare who wins the White House,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence, a Democrat who chairs the Board of Elections there. “The reality is that all of our counties are going to be in that same situation, and it will take a while to actually count the ballots.”

Less than two weeks away from Pennsylvania’s primary, some state election officials said they lack the funding and staff needed to handle the massive influx of mail-in ballots they’ve received for that race. They also said the fact that they legally can’t start counting those ballots until the morning of Election Day is complicating matters. In addition to delaying a final tally, the chaos and confusion could sow distrust ahead of the general election and give fodder to those seeking to discredit its results.

“I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me so far. They got the wrong party ballot sent to them. They got the wrong district ballot sent to them. And now I’m having people getting multiple ballots sent to them. These are the things that are inevitable when you rush the implementation of mail-in voting like we did here,” said Allegheny County Democratic Councilwoman and election board member Bethany Hallam. “But I’m worried that, if Donald Trump loses in November, do the Republicans use all these examples of errors with mail-in voting as their excuse to invalidate election results?”

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed no-excuse mail-in ballot voting and other reforms into law late last year, making the June 2 primary the first test of those changes. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, election officials expected to have months, if not years, to acclimate voters to the option of voting by mail. Instead, they’ve been forced to transform the system overnight.

Read the entire piece here.

Yesterday, Donald Trump tweeted:

I think this might be a preview of what we can expect on Wednesday morning, November 4, 2020.