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Pictured: Table with two signs (sign 1: "El tiempo es ahora") (sign 2: "The time is now. Vote.")
As election day nears, election workers and administrators reminds the public that counting may delay due to the volume of votes and limited staffing. Photo by Carlos Nogueras / AL DÍA News

When can we expect 2022 election results in PA?

Large counties have already warned that counting will roll over to Wednesday following Election Day, given the volume.

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With mail-in voting well underway, Pennsylvania counties have been preparing for a large voter turnout. But despite increased funding from Act 88, many of the larger districts said results would likely be ready on Wednesday, following Election Day on Nov. 8. 

Election officials told Spotlight Pa. that results could register as late as Wednesday, and it was not probable that counting would extend further. 

Earlier this year, PA lawmakers released a generous budget via Act 88 to boost polling efficacy as votes were counted — and although almost all 67 counties applied — one contingency instructs counties to count ballots through the night with no breaks allowed. 

And while funding was generous, it did not fulfill a years-long call to allow pre-canvassing logistics ahead of Election Day to poll workers to allow a head start in addressing large volumes of ballots. 

One elections chief, Lisa Deeley, told Spotlight that the legislation was “ill-conceived” and “just awful.”

“If they wanted to give us more money, they should have just given us more money, no strings,” Deeley, who oversees elections in Philadelphia, told Spotlight.

Current law dictates that counties are allowed to begin counting at 7 a.m., a punishingly narrow timeframe for pollsters to count and report results quickly. Funding only supports the counting process, and calls for operations to continue “without interruptions.” 

Despite repeated requests to modernize legislation to account for necessities that arise from poll sites, the legislature and governor’s mansion have been unable to reach consensus. 

Compound that with an onerous operational cycle, poll sites also reckon with an increase in election-related conspiracies, principally purported by the far right wing, many of which have either been struck down in court, debunked, or remain unproven. 

Mastriano, the Republican gubernatorial nominee who largely built his campaign by leveraging the Facebook Live tool, recently put PA elections into question on a conservative news outlet. 

“That’s an attempt to have the fix in,” Mastriano said of the possibility of a delayed count. 

The candidate sports a long history of election denial, and on his campaign website, it outlines his proposed policy to "partner with the legislature to eliminate 'no-excuse' mail-in voting, get rid of drop boxes and pass universal voter ID."

But false narratives surrounding mail-in voting isn’t siloed. Across the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and all the way to Congress, Republican lawmakers have pushed unfounded voter fraud claims since the 2020 presidential election. 

The controversy stemmed from a final counting stretch from battleground states where mail-in voting was incredibly popular among Democrats because of the COVID-19 pandemic, carrying Biden to the presidency. 

And mail-in voting is incredibly popular among Democrats, although less so in the 2022 election. 1.4 million, or less than half of voters requested a mail-in ballot than the metrics acquired after 2020. 

Even still, fixation over a corrupted voting operation is latent among Republicans. In mailers and websites no longer functional, PA Republican lawmakers described mail-in voting as “safe and secure.” 

There is no evidence, legal or otherwise, that points toward a defrauded system. 

Notwithstanding, Republicans have taken to the nation’s courts to contest standing processes, in what is a record-breaking year for voting rights-related lawsuits. 

In PA, the latest battle was over undated or incorrectly dated ballots, where the Commonwealth’s Supreme Court recently ruled that both the latter and former would render a vote ineligible. 

The court’s ruling shook Pennsylvanians, given the proximity to Election Day will add a load to an already over-exterted system. Folks who sent in their ballots incorrectly or undated and are not ‘cured’ by the deadline will not qualify as a lawful vote. 

A deadlock 3-3 court vote affirmed the right for counties to step in and communicate dated errors to voters. While it’s a productive step to correct course on the uncured ballots, it will add further pressure on the counting process for counties across PA. 

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