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2020 Election

Schuylkill County Says Ballots Received After Polls Closed are Being Segregated “Safe and Secure”

late schuylkill county ballots counted Tuesday

late schuylkill county ballots counted Tuesday

Schuylkill County’s Election Bureau will meet this Tuesday to conclude the canvassing of ballots completed in the 2020 General Election.

The ballots to be counted on Tuesday, according to Schuylkill County Commissioners, include provisional ballots and mail-in ballots received after the time polls closed at 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3.

Late-Arriving Ballots in Schuylkill County to be Counted on Tuesday

Commissioner George Halcovage said Thursday that the Pennsylvania Dept. of State “requested” that those ballots that would normally be considered late-arriving be segregated from the rest of the ballots received prior to the closing of polls.

Normally, ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day. Even in 2020, with new mail-in ballot eligibilities in place, ballots had to be postmarked by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. However, new rules pushed through late by Sect. of State Kathy Boockvar, muddied the waters on how election bureaus should handle these ballots.

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The confusion over these rules changes prompted State Sen. Dave Argall and other Republicans in Harrisburg to demand Boockvar resign immediately from her job. Part of the confusion centers on what counties should do with those late-arriving ballots: either canvass them right away or segregate them and count them separately.

It’s probably a good thing that Schuylkill County – despite the flaws it experienced on Election Day – decided to keep the ballots segregated. On Friday, the US Supreme Court ordered all late-arriving Pennsylvania ballots to be counted separately.

“It’s been requested by the Dept. of State to make sure that these ballots, the ones that came in after 8 o’clock on Tuesday are segregated and held and we are doing that,” Halcovage said Thursday. “Those ballots are safe. They are secure.”

Halcovage’s comments obviously came a day ahead of the US Supreme Court order.

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