Political News

Pennsylvania governor to urge patience around election results in new statewide ad

Posted November 2, 2020 5:00 a.m. EST

— Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will urge residents to be patient for their state's election results in a new advertisement aimed at combating concerns that might come with an elongated counting process in the critical swing state.

"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. The folks in our election offices -- your neighbors, family and friends are working hard ensuring every single vote is counted," Wolf says in the ad made through the nonpartisan voter advocacy group The Voter Project. The ad is scheduled to air from Election Day afternoon through the final ballot count, whenever that may be.

"So it may take a little longer than we're used to, even a few days, but that's okay," he continued, "because it's critical that your vote is counted -- and it will be."

While more than 2.2 million voters cast early ballots in Pennsylvania, the state doesn't process or count them until Election Day. Philadelphia and other areas plan to start work on their mail-in votes at 7 a.m. sharp, officials said, but swing counties like Erie and red ones like Cumberland are intending to wait until after the polls close or even until the next morning to begin.

That late start, paired with a potentially tight race in the key battleground state, has officials warning that there will likely not be a result on election night.

But in the final weeks of the election, President Donald Trump has repeatedly rebuked that message, falsely stating that the results of the election should be known on November 3.

"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," Trump said last week. Results reported on election night are always unofficial and certified by states later.

Officials in Pennsylvania have said they hope to have all votes counted by Friday, November 6, but a recent Supreme Court case requiring ballots received after Election Day to be segregated has sparked concern that the results could take even longer.

While mail-in ballots received after Election Day will be a tiny percentage of the total ballots, if the election is close, the ballots received after November 3 could make a difference.

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