Pennsylvania’s top election official warned that there will be delays in counting midterm votes next month, declaring that results won’t be delivered on Election Night.
Acting Secretary of State Leigh Chapman, a Democrat, this week told a local NPR station that “it’s really important for us to get accurate information about the election process in Pennsylvania.” That delay, she alleged, will be because election workers cannot pre-canvas or count mail-in ballots before Nov. 8, the date of the midterm elections.
“So voters and the public know that when there are delays in counting,” she added, “it doesn’t mean that there’s anything nefarious happening. It’s just what the law is in Pennsylvania.”
Chapman, a Democrat, is likely referring to the numerous delays that occurred following the 2020 General Election, which sparked allegations of voter fraud.
She also responded to questions about whether voters should hold onto their absentee ballots or turn them into their local election board on Election Day. The official said that voters shouldn’t delay sending them in.
“We have heard that there’s messaging out there in Pennsylvania, as far as instructing voters to hold onto their mail-in ballots,” Chapman said. “As part of our voter education campaign, we encourage voters to request that mail-in ballot now and return it as soon as possible. We don’t want voters to delay.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated an appeals court decision that required Pennsylvania to count mail-in ballots that don’t have dates on the envelope. Pennsylvania law stipulates that voters have to write the date on the outer envelope in order for their mail-in ballot to be counted.
“The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit with instructions to dismiss the case as moot,” wrote Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson as they sided with David Ritter, a Republican candidate for a judgeship in the commonwealth who lost by only a handful of votes.