Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Politics & Government
Contact 90.5 WESA with a story idea or news tip: news@wesa.fm

Vote Counting Drags Into 3rd Day After Pennsylvania Primary

absentee_voting_county_building_vote_primary_ballot_1.jpg
Katie Blackley
/
90.5 WESA

Counting an avalanche of mail-in votes began a third day in Pennsylvania on Thursday as some races from Tuesday’s primary remained too close to call.

The Associated Press has not called a number of races where the contest was close or had a large number of votes yet to be counted, or both.

Those races included several where incumbent state lawmakers trailed in the count and the only competitive primary among the statewide races, a six-way Democratic primary contest for auditor general.

More than 1.8 million voters applied for a mail-in or absentee ballot, smashing expectations by state officials for the debut of the state’s new vote-by-mail law and drawing warnings that many contest results would be delayed.

Lawmakers had voted to postpone the primary election from April 28 to avoid the height of Pennsylvania’s spike in coronavirus cases, and candidates and political parties had urged voters to cast ballots by mail to protect themselves from getting infected.

The lack of drama in the outcome of the presidential contests and the massive mail-in vote produced light in-person turnout throughout the state.

Turnout passed 1.7 million, hitting 20% of Pennsylvania's 8.6 million registered voters. Meanwhile, deadlines to accept mailed ballots were extended into next week in Philadelphia and six counties that are home to a total of 3.8 million voters.