Pennsylvania Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf is telling voters in his state it may take ‘even a few days’ to count their votes in a new public service-style ad – as the looming legal battle over the count there takes on a new PR dimension.
‘These are unprecedented times. Because of the coronavirus, there were millions of votes cast by mail so it may take longer than usual to count every vote,’ he says in a new ad for the nonpartisan group, The Voter Project.
‘The folks in our election offices – your neighbors, family and friends are working hard ensuring every single vote is counted,’ he says. CNN reports it will air Election Day through the final count – after the Supreme Court ruled Pennsylvania can continue counting mail ballots for three days after Election Day.
‘It may take longer than usual to count every vote,’ Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is telling residents in an ad paid for by a nonprofit
‘So it may take a little longer than we’re used to, even a few days, but that’s okay,’ Wolf reassures, ‘because it’s critical that your vote is counted — and it will be.’
President Donald Trump has repeatedly demand the nation learn the results of the election on the night of Election Day – even as states contend with a crush of mail-in ballots due to procedural changes and the coronavirus.
And he blasted the Supreme Court for refusing to revisit a 4-4 decision that allows county officials to count votes postmarked by Election Day for three days afterward.
‘I think it was a terrible decision for our country. And I think it was a very dangerous decision for our country,’ Trump on Sunday.
President Donald Trump is demanding a result on election night
Joe Biden has been campaigning repeatedly and leads in most polls there
A voter arrives to drop off he ballot during early voting in Allentown, Pennsylvania on October 29, 2020
These are a portion of the 200,000 mail-in and absentee ballots that have arrived at the Allegheny County Election Division that are kept in a secure area at the Elections warehouse in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020
‘Because you’re going to have one or two or three states, depending on how it ends up, where they’re tabulating ballots and the rest of the world is waiting to find out. And I think there’s great danger to it, and I think a lot of fraud and misuse can take place. I think it’s a terrible decision by the Supreme Court. A terrible decision.’
‘Now, I don’t know if that’s going to be changed, because we’re going to go in night of, as soon as that election is over, we’re going in with our lawyers,’ Trump vowed.
‘I don’t think it’s fair that we have to wait a long period of time after the election. Should’ve gotten their ballots in a long time before that. Could’ve gotten their ballots in a month ago. I think it’s a ridiculous decision.’
Pennsylvania state law prohibits the counting to begin until Election Day.
Trump has repeatedly demanded that the nation get a result on the night Election Day.
‘The Election should end on November 3rd., not weeks later!’ he tweeted Friday.
Trump said at the White House last week: “It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on November 3rd, instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate, and I don’t believe that that’s by our laws,’ he said.
Despite the legal saber rattling, there was not a single challenge to one of the 1.2 million ballots cast by mail in Philadelphia or its surrounding suburbs, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday, the deadline for making a challenge.
Pennsylvania is a critical state in both candidates’ plans, although a Monmouth University poll put Biden ahead by a margin of 51 to 44 in Monday. Biden’s average lead is 4 percentage points, and both candidates were stumping there on Monday.
It isn’t just the crush of mail-in ballots that will contribute to a delayed result.
Seven Republican counties with a combined 150,000 votes won’t begin counting until the day after Election Day, NBC News reported.
Trump has regularly gone after Wolf, as he did at a rally in the state last week.
‘The governor counts the ballots,’ Trump said, conflating him with county election officials who do count the votes in a process that lets both parties observe. ‘This is the guy that’s counting our ballots? It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work.’
In fact, county officials conduct the count.
Axios reported over the weekend that Trump plans to declare victory if he’s ‘ahead’ in key states like Pennsylvania. Election experts are predicting a red ‘mirage’ in Pennsylvania and other states – where Trump appears to be up among the first votes to get counted (those cast on Election Day) while the Biden count comes in more slowly.
This would be the backdrop for any demand to challenge mail ballots or demand a stop to the count.