Pennsylvania voters facing absentee ballot deadline run into hours-long lines

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Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports from Martinsburg, Pa.

Pennsylvanians looking to request absentee ballots by Tuesday’s deadline are being given the option to come back on Wednesday because lines were so long.

Liz Goodwin, a reporter for the Boston Globe, posted a picture to Twitter on Tuesday showing long lines in Chester County, Pa., where some people were sitting in chairs as they came out to obtain absentee ballots.

The state must receive a request for an absentee ballot by Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET.

One person responded to Goodwin’s tweet, saying she had been in line around midday but had to leave after being told she would likely be in line another three hours.

A spokesperson for Chester County Services said that it is doing everything in its power to accommodate requests received by Tuesday’s deadline, adding that it is giving some people the option to return on Wednesday if they have the proper documentation. Officials are giving people waiting in line the option of completing their application, getting it time-stamped and returning Wednesday to pick-up their ballot.

“Alternatively, voters are also welcome to remain in line and obtain their ballot today, as long as the application has been received by 5 p.m,"  the spokesperson said.

In addition to Tuesday serving as the deadline for people to request an absentee ballot, it was also the last day to vote early in-person with a mail-in ballot at county election offices or other designated locations.

Voters’ ballots will be counted so long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3. Individuals can also drop them off at secure drop box locations.


Pennsylvania is anticipating a record volume of mail-in and absentee ballots for the November general election. Around 2.5 million people are expected to vote by mail.

Despite the expected surge in mail-in ballot volume, Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states where the ballot counting process, including pre-canvassing (sorting, verification and other processes that precede actually counting the vote) cannot begin before Election Day.

A recent Supreme Court ruling will allow ballots received by Nov. 6 to be counted, so long as they are postmarked by Election Day.


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