(A small fraction of the ballots that currently can't be sorted or verified until Election Day morning | Photo: City Commissioners)
One of the big issues that will determine the scope for political interference in the election is how quickly Philadelphia and the southeast suburban counties—expected to go big for Joe Biden—will be able to count their mail-in ballots.
The state legislature had been debating some ideas for how to make the counts go faster, but Reporter Cynthia Fernandez talked to Rep. Kevin Boyle, the minority Chair of the House State Government Committee, who said negotiations over those changes, like pre-canvassing of ballots, are essentially over, as the agenda has turned more urgently to last-minute skullduggery. We talked at greater length with Rep. Boyle, along with Suzanne Almeida of Common Cause PA, about the pre-canvassing negotiations and much more on the latest episode of our Home Rule podcast.
It's unclear just how much anxiety we should have about the unlikelihood of pre-canvassing passing, however.
According to informed sources, it's possible the Commissioners could count as many as 100,000 mail ballots by the end of the night on Election Day, and they're planning to count around the clock until they're finished. If that's how it plays out in reality, there won't be the days-long lag some are fearing where Donald Trump maintains an artificial lead for days because Philadelphia's vote counts are delayed.
If that's about the pace the Commissioners are able to maintain, a good portion of Philadelphia votes are going to be in the mix early on, shrinking the window for Republican judges to stop the counts.
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