WEST CHESTER – A note for voters: if you’re looking for the results of Tuesday’s primary election to the U.S. Senate, the Governor of Pennsylvania or the 6th District of Congress, feel free to go to bed early. Nothing close to the exact final results will be available in Chester County and elsewhere at least until Wednesday evening and possibly later.
Electoral officials have been advising voters for weeks that the process of campaigning and counting ballots by mail will set a timetable for publishing unofficial results that goes beyond 2020 by midnight on Tuesday or immediately after.
This means that those who previously sat at the screens of their computers and constantly pressed for updates, looking for cumulative results by constituency, will not see the tables of votes other than personal votes on election night, and this can be misleading. In 2021, early returns in district and local elections showed the victories of several Republican candidates; but when final results were summed up, including postal ballots and a preliminary vote, Democrats turned those results upside down.
The Chester County Electoral Service estimates that the unofficial results of the personal vote on election day will be released late Tuesday night. Ballots and absentee ballots will begin before the campaign at 7 a.m. Tuesday and will continue without interruption until the tabulation process. The unofficial results of the postal and absentee voting results are expected to be published by the end of the day on Wednesday, and ballots for voting abroad and abroad will be considered by the district council on return from Friday to Tuesday, 24 May.
And there are races that will be very important for election supporters in both parties, although there are more Republicans on the ballot than Democrats. However, turnout is likely to remain low: in 2018, in the last by-elections in the state, only 17 percent of eligible voters voted in the May primaries.
Polling stations are open for personal voting from 7.00 to 20.00. The list of polling stations is available on the district’s website at www.chesco.org/elections.
The state has seven candidates running from the Republican Party for the U.S. Senate, four candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, nine party candidates for governor, and nine for the post of lieutenant governor. On the democratic side, there are only races for the US Senate – four candidates on the list – and the lieutenant governor. U.S. MP Chrissy Hulahan is running for re-election to the 6th constituency, while state’s attorney general Josh Shapiro is the party’s only candidate for governor.
In Chester County, voter registration figures continue to favor Democrats, although Republican registration has increased over the past five months and impressed Democrats.
State Department statistics as of May 2 showed that the total number of voters in the constituency was 374,627, including 155,948 Democrats, 151,054 Republicans and 67,625 independent and third-party voters. This leaves an advantage of 4,894 voters in favor of the Democrats against 5,990 in December.
The mail voting process, which was first introduced in the state in 2020 and was actively used in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, is still popular with voters in the state and county. Statewide figures show that more than 830,000 voters requested ballot papers by mail before the primaries, compared to 43,686 in the constituency, mostly Democrats between 32,710 and 10,976 for Republicans.
As of Friday morning, a total of 23,050 ballots had been returned by mail, and again the leaders – from 17,712 to 5,338 Republican ballots.
The mail option proved unpopular with Republican voters, in part because of lies that former President Donald Trump passed on to his supporters about fraud involving the new system and controversy over dropboxing sparked by right-wing commentators.
The section continued to be demonstrated at a district election commission meeting on Friday, where routine issues such as appointing about 1,200 voters to 230 constituencies and defining policies and practices were unanimously approved by the council – Democratic Party members Josh Maxwell and Marianne Muscovite and Republican Michelle Kichline.
As has become commonplace at such meetings, when attended by few, several speakers rose to comment on issues such as voter fraud and the vulnerability of mailboxes and electronic voting machines, or the opposing views of those who reject these issues as fictional or fictional.
Many of the speakers, who called on the county to drop mailboxes available in more than a dozen locations across the constituency, referred to a recent documentary by right-wing director Dinesh D’Souza’s “2000 Mules.”
Acclaimed by former President Trump as exposing “major election fraud,” the film paints a sinister picture that suggests “mules” of Democrat ballots were allegedly paid for illegally collecting and distributing ballots in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
But, according to the Associated Press, this picture is based on erroneous assumptions, anonymous accounts and incorrect analysis of mobile phone location data, which, according to experts, is not accurate enough to confirm that someone put the ballot in the ballot box.
The film uses research from the non-profit organization True the Vote, based in Texas, which has been lobbying states for several months to use its findings to change voting laws.
Sandy Bowman, a regular at election commission meetings who advocated a “full forensic examination” of the 2021 election results, said Friday that a criminal vote took place last year and that ballot rigging is likely to prevail on Tuesday. “Chester County, Pennsylvania politicians have mocked the election,” she said, calling her concerns “national security.”
Although several other speakers at the meeting echoed Bowman’s allegations of fraud – including one who said he was told in 2020 that election officials had told him “we are doing it differently this year ”When they handed him a fake ballot for the presidency, others defended the system.
“I hear the same accusations over and over again,” said Chester County Democratic Party Chair Charlotte Valle. “But these data are without sources, and the accusations are without sources. She advocated the use of ballot boxes as more convenient for voters.
“It has never been proven that ballot boxes are a source of voter fraud,” she said.
Throughout the commentary period, which lasted about 45 minutes, three members of the election commission sat largely silent, unresponsive to the speakers and their accusations.
The county spokeswoman said the three, who also serve as county commissioners, took the position that there was no need to respond to these comments and they were rather “a valuable component that ensures citizens’ direct input in their decision-making.
“The period of public discussion at any public meeting of the Chester County Government gives citizens the opportunity to express their views directly to the Commissioner on issues that are or may be before the council,” the spokeswoman said. “Chester County’s practice is that the public comment period is public and is not intended as a question-and-answer session or for commissioners to make impromptu remarks.”
To contact full-time writer Michael P. Relahan, call 610-696-1544.