Ballot Issues Force Election Staff in Heavily-Blue Pennsylvania County to Take Day Off, Votes Won’t Be Counted Until Friday

 

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Election staff in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania are reportedly taking the day off for “administrative work” due to issues with thousands of ballots — meaning many of the votes will not get counted until Friday.

The state’s second-largest county, which includes the heavily-blue city of Pittsburgh, was hit with a court order that halts 29,000 of the remaining 35,000 ballots left from being counted, due to a mishap with the ballots, according to Ryan Deto of the Pittsburgh City Paper.

“29,000 are replacement ballots [because] a contracted company delivered wrong ballots last month,” he explained in a tweet. “Election return board HAS to legally meet [tomorrow] before counting can resume.”

The New York Times’ Trip Gabriel also reported on the news, claiming that a member of the county’s election board, Bethany Hallam, could not “get an answer as to why” the count stopped.

“Per email from county to [election] board, those 35,413 include about 29,000 ballots sent to voters who first got wrong ballots,” he explained in a second tweet. “They have to be double-checked to ensure no one voted twice. Also, unscannable ballots and some missing dates or illegible signatures.”

Spotlight PA’s Tom Lisi also reported that Midwest Direct, a mailing and marketing company, wrongly assigned voters’ addresses in the company’s internal system.

“My assumption is that Midwest probably picked up a lot of business based on their performance with Allegheny County in the primary,” County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said. “We were struggling to keep our heads above water, when we were manually making these kits of envelopes, pulling ballots manually, folding them, stuffing them in envelopes.”

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