EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A historic number of mail-in ballots this election year have been requested by residents across Pennsylvania.
In Luzerne County, about 70,000 mail-in ballots were sent out to residents. As of evening on Election Day, pre-canvassing efforts resulted in 54,892 mail-in ballots being scanned, not including any ballots received Tuesday by mail or drop box. About 60,000 mail-in ballots are estimated to have been returned.
According to Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri, the county has finished tabulating all mail-in and absentee ballots received by the Bureau of Elections by 8 p.m. on November 3rd, Luzerne County Manager Dave Pedri announced Wednesday night.
“I specifically want to thank the over 50 county employees who worked incredibly hard to finalize this count today,” Pedri wrote in a statement. “They are the very definition of true public servant and I am truly honored to work with them.”
According to Pedri, county employees will be reconvening on Friday at 3 p.m. to count any ballots received after election day but post marked by the November 3rd deadline. The county will also review and addition 2,000 to 3,000 provisional ballots on Monday.
Less than 1% of mail-in ballots have been returned as “naked ballots”. Pedri says that if a staff member came across an incorrectly submitted ballot, the voter’s party was contacted which will then contact the voter. The voters then had a chance to vote with a provisional ballot while polls were open..
The Luzerne County website is updated with the latest results.
In Lackawanna County, 49,989 mail-in and absentee ballots were sent out to voters. Officials say they received 41,977 of those ballots at the election office by Election Day. Pre-canvassing began at 7:01 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The opening of all Lackawanna County mail-in ballots was completed by around 7:30 p.m., officials told Eyewitness News. At 9:38 p.m., the final mail-in ballot from those received by Election Day was counted, completing the tabulation.
Monroe County, which has around 170,000 residents, sent out 39,110 mail-in and absentee ballots. Out of those, 31,765 have been received by the Monroe County Office of Elections on Election Day.
According to the county website, staff started counting mail-in ballots at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. Staff will continue to count mail-in votes through Monday, November 9 and the Monroe County vote will be certified on Monday, November 16.
By evening on Thursday, 32,475 have been counted out of the total 33,100 received. The remaining 625 are “naked ballots” and military ballots. Officials say 98% of the mail-in vote is complete.
Provisional and military ballots will be counted beginning on Friday.
Lycoming County officials tell Eyewitness News that around 16,500 mail-in ballots have been requested by residents and between 12,500 and 13,000 have been returned by Election Day. Staff began pre-canvassing the mail-in ballots on Tuesday.
Schuylkill County residents requested around 20,000 mail-in and absentee ballots. Staff there are counting the number of returned mail-in ballots as of Tuesday evening.