The road to the Oval Office cuts straight through Pennsylvania — though it’ll take several more days to get there.

As of 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, President Trump was edging out Joe Biden for the presidency with 53.4 percent of the vote, compared to Biden’s 45.4 percent, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The margin between the two candidates was just shy of 441,000 votes.

But there are still 1.3 million mail-in ballots to be counted, which are more likely to lean in the former vice president’s favor with Democrats being more prone than Republicans to vote by mail, poll watchers have said.

Poll workers are scrambling to count mail-in ballots in key Democratic strongholds, including Philadelphia, where election officials said about 40 percent have been counted so far.

City Commissioner Al Schmidt said workers are bracing for 350,000 to 400,000 mail-in ballots to come in, given the state’s extended deadline to count ballots postmarked by Wednesday and received by Friday.

“We can’t count what we don’t have yet,” Schmidt said Wednesday morning on CNN.

Mail-in ballots are also still being counted in Luzerne County, near Scranton, where some 26,000 of about 60,000 cast have already been counted, and left-leaning Montgomery County, CNN reported.

Allegheny County, which encompasses Pittsburgh, is also in the midst of tallying up votes, though the blue-leaning county is showing an early Biden win.

Officials have said most of the votes will be counted by Friday.

Republicans have started a court battle over some of the ballots in Montgomery, claiming the county Board of Elections began processing mail-in ballots too early and was illegally allowing voters to fix defects.

GOPers also sued Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar on Tuesday night, accusing her of illegally letting voters whose mail-in ballots were rejected cast provisional ballots instead.

Trump pulled off an upset in the Keystone State in 2012, beating out Hillary Clinton there by a mere 44,292 votes to capture its 20 coveted electoral votes.

Clinton was favored to win the state following Barack Obama’s victory there in 2012 by more than 5 percentage points.

Poll workers across the country are facing an unprecedented flood of mail-in ballots, with 64 million mailed in ahead of Election Day amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Boockvar said Pennsylvania received 10 times the number of mail-in ballots received in the 2016 presidential election but that counties have counted nearly 50 percent of them so far.

She also confirmed that there are 500,000 mail-in ballots that hadn’t been cast by Election Day but said they will be tracked county by county. A total, however, won’t be available on Wednesday.



Source link