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Pa Election Update

The Pennsylvania Department of State has released the estimated number of mail-in ballots received in the three days after the election and a legal battle could determine if they will count.

Prior to the election, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled mail-in and absentee ballots received between the 8 p.m. poll closing on Nov. 3 and 5 p.m. on Nov. 6 would count, if they were postmarked before or on Election Day.

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said an estimated 10,000 mail-in ballots were received in the three days after the election.

This comes as the Trump administration continues its legal battle in the state, claiming those votes are invalid.

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Tuesday, repeating former U.S. Solicitor General Ken Starr’s comments calling the commonwealth’s three-day extension a “constitutional travesty.”

Even if those ballots are disallowed, they would not be enough to make up the more than 47,000 vote lead held by projected President-Elect Joe Biden, according to the state’s numbers.

In Blair County, those ballots made up far less than 1% of the votes.

“We ended up with a total of 46 that are in that category,” said Laura Burke, Blair County commissioner. “They have been segregated; we have not counted them yet. We are allowed to process them, but we are not allowed to add them into the total until the litigation is resolved.”

Boockvar reports votes are still being counted in the Pennsylvania, noting some 94,000 provisional ballots were issued to voters on election day. Burke said those ballots are dealt with individually.

“Look at the mail-in, compare them to the provisional, and make sure that we didn’t have two votes for the same person,” Burke said

Blair County doubled its election staff for the general election, anticipating, and ultimately receiving more mail-in ballots than ever before.

Burke said observers from both parties were present for the duration of the vote count.

She said the county election board is not responsible for investigating claims of fraud.

“We don’t, as the board of returns, look at intent,” Burke said. “If we find something out of the ordinary, something that concerns us, that’s referred to the district attorney.”

Burke reports no voting irregularities in the county.

“We check all the numbers, the tapes, the poll books and compare,” she said. “There was nothing out of the ordinary. Certainly nothing that causes any concern that the results would be not reliable.”

Blair County is awaiting a decision on ballots received during the three-day period before certifying election results.

Boockvar applauds counties efforts in counting the millions of mail-in ballots cast throughout the state. She characterized the election as “free, fair and open,” something the Trump administration continues to dispute.

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