WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) It’s been nearly two days since the polls closed on Pennsylvania’s primary election and the vote count drags on in many counties.
Election officials tell Eyewitness News the large number mail-in ballots have slowed the process.
The election bureau officials I spoke with all across the region say this has been an election year like no other. Consider this, by order of the state, counties had to purchase new voting machines that provide a paper trail, then add the huge response to vote by mail ballots and of course—COVID-19 concerns.
“For a day and a half now I’ve been watching what goes on in Courtroom A here. The process is excellent, something everybody should be proud of,” said Bob Caruso from Wilkes-Barre.
Caruso is no rookie when it comes to elections. He’s been watching elections, specifically the tabulating of votes, for more than 50 years. An election watchdog, if you will. He says he is impressed about what he has witnessed during the count of the vote-by-mail ballots in Luzerne County. But he and county election officials say lessons are being learned.
“We are discovering where the soft points are so we are now aware of mal-occurrences moving forward and be prepared for November general election,” said Caruso.
Luzerne County is not alone in facing these first ever election challenges. County Manager Dave Pedri admits this is a learning process each and every day.
“We are happy we had this election before the presidential in November. There’s going to be things we learned. Is there ever a perfect election? No. Was this election perfect? No. I wish it was perfect. We learned from mistakes and we will get better,” said Pedri.
Luzerne County received just over 40,000 vote by mail ballots. I’m told they still have about 9,000 more to count. That count could be finalized tonight.