Watch CBS News

Court Order Keeps Allegheny County From Processing About 29K Ballots Until Friday, County Executive Fitzgerald Says

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Allegheny County leaders explained Thursday why there are tens of thousands ballots they're not counting until Friday.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says there's approximately 35,000 mail-in ballots that need to be looked at.

Join us as we address the remaining mail-in, absentee ballots in Allegheny County and the process and timing for their review.

Posted by Allegheny County Government on Thursday, November 5, 2020

Out of those, about 29,000 ballots have been ordered by federal court to not be handled or processed until 5 p.m. Friday. These 29,000 ballots were originally sent out by the county's third-party mailing company with the wrong information.


There's an additional 6,800 with what Fitzgerald calls "other issues" -- like if they got damaged or were missing a secrecy envelope, also known as a "naked" ballot.

By state law, the county board of elections has to swear in a return board. That'll happen Friday at 9 a.m.

All 67 counties aren't allowed to swear their return board in until three days after the election, says Fitzgerald.

"They will be viewed, by the public, by the poll watchers, by all parties who will be there to look at those ballots as the return board begins to process those ballots," Fitzgerald said.

He said he doesn't have an estimated timeline for the process, but said the count will be accurate.

"No election is final until the board of elections -- all 67 in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania -- sign the certification. That normally takes two to three weeks after Election Day," says Fitzgerald.

He went on to say, "This is a normal process that happens during every election every year."

And there are even more votes to count. Wednesday the county received some 500 ballot postmarked before Election Day and it must also process between 10,000 to 15,000 provisional ballots. So it'll be some time before all votes are counted.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.