LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania’s Latest Election Updates

By The Keystone Staff

October 16, 2020

Nov. 13, 2020 // 5:00 p.m.

PA Secretary of State: There Will Be No Recount

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar speaks at a news conference on Nov. 4, 2020. (Flickr/Office of Gov. Tom Wolf)

Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar won’t order a recount and recanvassing of this year’s general election results, the Department of State announced in a news release Friday.

“Based on the unofficial returns submitted by all the counties to the Department of State,” the release says, “Secretary Boockvar has determined that she will not be ordering a recount and recanvass of the election returns in the counties, as no statewide candidate was defeated by one-half of one percent or less of the votes cast.“

As of Friday, the state’s website shows former Vice President Joe Biden having 3,404,185 votes to President Donald Trump’s 3,344,002 votes. 

That’s a lead of 60,183 over Trump—and 0.89% of all the votes cast.

More than 6.8 million votes were cast in Pennsylvania. 

Some votes are still being counted. 

More than 100,000 provisional ballots were cast and more than 28,000 military and overseas ballots were sent in. The deadline for the counties to receive those uniformed and overseas civilian ballots was Nov. 10.

Another 10,000 ballots were mailed in by 8 p.m. Nov. 3. The state’s Supreme Court ruled that any of those ballots that arrived by Nov. 6 could be counted. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 13, 2020 // 2:00 p.m.

Republican Quinn Wins Re-Election in 168th State House District

Republican state Rep. Christopher Quinn has beaten Democratic challenger Deb Ciamacca by a little less than 1,000 votes.

Quinn had 22,364 votes to Ciamacca’s 21,444, as of 1 p.m. Friday.

Ciamacca conceded the race on Thursday and congratulated Quinn.

“The vast majority of votes have been counted and I honor the process, which was conducted in a free and fair manner by hundreds of volunteers,” Ciamacca said in a Facebook post.

Democrats hoped that a victory from Ciamacca would help them take the state House seat, which represents part of Delaware County, for the first time since 2010.

Quinn first won the seat during a special election in 2016, when he beat Democrat Diane Levy by 1,569 votes. He then won a full term later that year, when he beat Levy by 4,611 votes.

In 2018, he won re-election by fewer than 500 votes, beating Kristin Seale, 17,369 to 16,919.

He is on the consumer affairs, urban affairs, gaming control, and appropriations committees.

Ciamacca is a Marine Corps veteran, former businesswoman, and social studies teacher. 

She argued that experience would help her work across party lines and get things done in the Legislature. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 10, 2020 // 1:22 p.m.

Republican Stephens Keeps 151st State House District Seat

Republican Todd Stephens will return to the State House, after defeating Democrat Jonathan Kassa in the 151st District.

Stephens had 20,772 votes to Kassa’s 18,286, as of 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Stephens declared victory on Thursday, but Kassa did not concede until Monday afternoon.

Voters first sent Stephens to the state House in 2010, and re-elected him in 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018. Stephens’ 2018 victory was by a narrow margin of fewer than 1,000 votes, so Democrats had hoped to beat him this cycle.

Stephens is on the Consumer Affairs, Children and Youth, Judiciary, Transportation, and Government Oversight committees.

Kassa’s campaign centered around the issues of affordable health care and education. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 10, 2020 // 10:17 a.m.

Incumbent Republican Lewis Retains State House Seat in District 105

Republican state Rep. Andrew Lewis has won re-election in the 105th state House District.

Lewis garnered 20,964 votes to Democratic challenger Brittney Rodas’ 19,480 votes.

Rodas conceded the race on Monday afternoon. 

“I call on Andrew Lewis to stand up for the working people of our District,” Rodas said in a Facebook post. “My concession is also a reminder that not once but twice did nearly half our District believe that they need a different voice in our Legislature. We must center the issues that are important to our District such as equitably funding our public schools, expanding access to quality and affordable healthcare, removing the influence of corporate special interests, and protecting our workers and small businesses as we address the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Lewis had declared victory several days earlier, saying he was grateful to everyone who voted for him.

“For those who did not vote for me, I will work just as hard to bring your voice to Harrisburg, and to earn your trust as your Representative,” he said in a Facebook post.

Lewis first assumed office in 2018. He is a member of the Finance, Liquor Control, State Government, and Urban Affairs committees.

He also previously sought election to the 11th US House District, and the 15th state Senate District.

Lewis’ platform included enacting term limits, reforming government, and rooting out corruption in Harrisburg. He has refused to enroll in a taxpayer-funded pension.

Rodas’ campaign focused on increasing the minimum wage and securing fair-paying jobs for all skill levels, government reform, quality education, and providing adequate resources for healthcare and mental health services. —Ashley Adams

Nov. 10, 2020 // 6:01 p.m.

Republican Tomlinson Wins First Full Term in 18th State House District

Republican state Rep. K.C. Tomlinson has held onto the 18th House District seat.

Tomlinson had 16,385 votes to Democratic challenger Harold “Howie” Hayes’ 14,762 votes, as of 5:45 p.m. Tuesday. 

Hayes conceded the race Tuesday afternoon. He congratulated Tomlinson on her victory.

“I hope she will lead in a bipartisan fashion that represents our diverse community,” Hayes said in a Facebook post.

Tomlinson had declared victory several days earlier, and said on Facebook that she looks forward “to continuing to serve as Bensalem’s voice in Harrisburg.”

Tomlinson, a funeral director and daughter of state Sen. Tommy Tomlinson, promised to “protect” Bensalem’s quality of life and hold the line on taxes.

Tomlinson was first elected to represent the 18th House District in a special election earlier this year.

Hayes, a master plumber, campaigned on a platform that focused on education and property tax reform, raising the minimum wage in Pennsylvania, providing proper personal protective equipment to front-line workers, and protecting workers’ rights. —Christina Kristofic

Nov. 10, 2020 // 5:01 p.m.

Republican Schroeder Holds Onto 29th State House District Seat

Republican state Rep. Meghan Schroeder has held onto the 29th House District seat.

As of 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Schroeder had 22,719 votes to Democratic challenger Marlene Katz’s 18,094. There are still several thousand mail-in ballots and provisional ballots to be counted in Bucks County, where the 29th District is located.

Katz conceded the race on Monday, saying on Facebook, “You now have Representative Schroeder who states she is an Independent Voice. While this was not the case in her first term with a record of voting 98% of the time with her party, she has a chance to change.”

Katz encouraged her supporters to hold Schroeder accountable by staying engaged in the local political process.

“Your voice matters, to end gerrymandered districts like the 29th, to advocate for women’s rights, equality for all, to raise the shameful minimum wage from $7.25 to a livable wage, to better protect our environment for our kids and future generations, to modernize the infrastructure and create smart energy grids and bring in green jobs, to keep our communities safer with common sense gun reform, and to make the greatest investment of all in our children with high quality public school education as a top priority and properly funded early education and childcare,” Katz said.

Schroeder had declared victory several days before, saying on Facebook, “I am proud to have worked with so many of you to deliver real results for our district, and I am honored you have given me the opportunity to serve another term as our voice in Harrisburg.”

Schroeder’s campaign focused on keeping taxes low, protecting open space, and making sure schools have the funding they need.

Schroeder was first elected to represent the 29th House District in 2018.

Katz has started several businesses and is an ordained interfaith minister. Her political campaign focused on providing more funding for schools, raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure, and protecting the environment. —Christina Kristofic

Nov. 10, 2020 // 2:55 p.m.

Republican Mercuri Defeats Skopov to Earn First Full Term

Republican Rob Mercuri defeated Democrat Emily Skopov in the race for the state’s 28th House District seat.

Mercuri had 21,722 votes to Skopov’s 17,115, as of 8 a.m. Tuesday. Skopov conceded the race on Monday.

“The majority of our neighbors chose something different from the change we were offering, and while that’s disappointing, I hope that those of you who invested in our vision for the future will keep fighting for it,” Skopov said in a Facebook post.

Mercuri, who had declared victory the day after the election, said in a Facebook post that it’s time for residents of the district to unite.

“Let’s begin a comeback of our economy, a reunification of our people, and a revival of our American Values,” Mercuri said in a Facebook post. “We are molding the future, right here, right now.”

Mercuri is an Army veteran and financial risk manager. His campaign focused on enacting a moratorium on the payroll tax, suspending some regulations for small businesses, improving government openness and transparency, and restricting abortion rights. He opposed any increase to the minimum wage.

The district, which includes parts of Allegheny County, has been held by Republicans since 1969. The seat most recently was held by former Speaker of the House Mike Turzai, who represented the district for 20 years before he resigned in June to take a job with a gas company.

Skopov, a screenwriter and founder of a nonprofit, ran against Turzai in 2018 and gave him his closest race. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 10, 2020 // 2:27 p.m.

Republican Thomas Wins Re-Election in 178th State House District

Republican state Rep. Wendi Thomas has held onto the 178th state House District seat.

As of 8 am. Tuesday, Thomas had 24,312 votes to Democratic challenger Ann Marie Mitchell’s 19,533.

Thomas declared victory on Friday, but Mitchell didn’t concede until Sunday.

“2020 has presented our nation and our state with unprecedented challenges—challenges that will continue in the new year. I know that we can meet these challenges as we always have: by coming together as a community to find common ground and commonsense solutions. I am committed to doing just that and ask everyone in the 178th District—whether you voted for or against me—to please join me,” Thomas wrote in a Facebook post.

Thomas’ campaign focused on keeping taxes low and health care affordable, “commonsense gun safety measures,” and investing in infrastructure.

Thomas was first elected to represent the 178th House District in 2018. —Christina Kristofic

Nov. 10, 2020 // 2:18 p.m.

Republican Gaydos Defeats Knoll for Re-Election in 44th State House District Race

Republican incumbent Valerie Gaydos has won her reelection campaign in the 44th District.

Gaydos beat Democratic challenger Michele Knoll, 20,306 to 15,420, as of 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Gaydos declared victory on Thursday, but Knoll did not concede the race until Sunday.

This was Gaydos’ first reelection campaign. She is on the commerce, education, liquor control, and health committees.

Knoll works in early intervention in education and has her own business. She made the coronavirus pandemic a major part of her campaign, talking about the importance of health care and the economy. 

The 44th District is in Allegheny County and includes 61,000 residents. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 10, 2020 // 11:23 a.m.

Mizgorski Defeats Shulman for Re-Election in 30th State House District

Republican Lori Mizgorski has defeated Lissa Geiger Shulman to win re-election in the 30th state House District

Mizgorski got 22,725 votes to Shulman’s 18,789, as of 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Shulman, who already conceded, ran on education, health care, childcare and environment issues. 

Mizgorski, who was first elected in 2018, was on the Human Services, Labor and Industry, Urban Affairs and Local Government committees.

The district is in Allegheny County. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 10, 2020 // 10:30 a.m.

Republican Polinchock Holds Onto 144th House District Seat

Republican state Rep. Todd Polinchock has held onto the 144th House District seat.

As of 8 a.m. Tuesday, Polinchock had 22,177 votes to Democratic challenger Gary Spillane’s 17,964. There are still several thousand mail-in and provisional ballots to be counted in Bucks County, where the district is located, but Spillane conceded the race on Saturday.

“Congratulations to Todd Polinchock. May he serve us well,” Spillane said in a Facebook post. “Let’s end the divisiveness and work together to move this state forward.”

Polinchock had declared victory a few days earlier, and said he was thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve the district.

“I want to congratulate Gary Spillane for having the interest to jump into this tumultuous environment for an opportunity to serve our community. I look forward to working with him for the citizens of the 144th!” Polinchock said in a Facebook post.

Polinchock campaigned on a platform of holding the line on taxes, reducing regulations on businesses, freezing or eliminating property taxes for senior citizens, and defunding sanctuary cities. He has opposed raising the minimum wage.

Spillane, a small business owner, campaigned on a platform of protecting the environment, keeping health care affordable, protecting workers’ rights, raising the minimum wage, and protecting women’s rights. —Christina Kristofic

Nov. 9, 2020 // 1:57 p.m.

Incumbent Republican DiSanto Keeps State Senate Seat in District 15

Republican Senator John Disanto appears to have won re-election in the 15th state Senatorial District.

DiSanto had 69,624 votes to Democratic challenger George Scott’s 65,132, as of 1:30 p.m. Monday. The district represents parts of Dauphin and Perry counties, and both counties still have more than 1,000 mail-in ballots and more than 3,000 provisional ballots to count, according to state data.

Scott conceded the race on Friday, saying on Facebook that he had called DiSanto and left a message to congratulate him on his win.

“Democracy demands that we always place accuracy before speed when determining election results so that every voice is heard. After carefully evaluating the latest information, my team and I have concluded that we’ve come up short in this election, and the remaining ballots are very unlikely to change that outcome,” he said.

“We didn’t win the election, yet it’s pretty clear that we did win the debate over what’s needed by the people of this district. In his upcoming term, let’s insist that Senator DiSanto legislates to promote the issues he highlighted during his campaign, rather than the policies he actually supported during the previous four years.”

DiSanto has not made any statements on social media or in local news media about the outcome of the race.

DiSanto has held the state Senate seat since he was elected in 2016.

His campaign agenda included reforming government, cutting wasteful spending, eliminating property taxes, and reducing regulations on businesses.

Scott, a U.S. Army veteran, campaigned on a platform of ensuring affordable and accessible health care to all, addressing racial inequalities in the health care system, providing equal access to high-quality public education, and restoring integrity to the political process. —Ashley Adams

Nov. 9, 2020 // 12:24 p.m.

Republican Incumbent Martin Holds Onto 13th State Senate District Seat

Republican Sen. Scott Martin will represent Lancaster County in Pennsylvania’s state Senate for another four years.

As of noon on Monday, Martin had 72,876 votes to Democratic challenger Janet Diaz’s 58,157 votes. Lancaster election officials still need to count 7,400 mail-in and provisional ballots; even if they all go to Diaz, it will not be enough to make up the difference.

Martin in a victory statement on Twitter on Wednesday thanked Diaz “for stepping forward to run.”

He said that 2020 “has presented our nation and our state with unprecedented challenges—challenges that will continue in the New Year. I know that we can meet these challenges as we always have: by coming together as a community to find common ground and commonsense solutions. I am committed to doing just that and asks everyone in the 13th Senate District—whether you voted for or against me—to please join me.”

Martin, who served as County Commissioner before he was elected to the state Senate, describes himself as a “strong watchdog for taxpayers.” He has secured grant funding for local projects, and has passed a bipartisan law to expand COVID-19 test reporting in Pennsylvania, according to his campaign website.

Diaz did not concede the race until Saturday; she wanted to wait for the majority of ballots cast to be counted.

In her concession statement, she thanked all of the volunteers and voters who supported her.

“Growing up in poverty, never in a million years could I imagine I would get this amount of support. I’m incredibly grateful and humbled by all of you,” she said on social media

Diaz, a Lancaster City council member who is Puerto Rican, was the first Latina to run for the 13th District state Senate seat.

“To the young women and girls who shared their stories with me, do not let this discourage you or deter you. If I made it this far, I know you will make it further,” Diaz said.

Diaz encouraged her supporters to continue to fight for affordable health care, a living wage, fair education funding, and a clean environment.

“As we look forward past this election, let us all work together to support and improve our communities,” she said. —Gema María Duarte

Nov. 7, 2020 // 8:15 a.m.

Pennsylvania Ballot Counting to Continue Into Next Week

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
Election office workers process ballots as counting continues from the general election at the Allegheny County elections returns warehouse in Pittsburgh, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Democrat Joe Biden’s narrow but growing margin in the presidential race drew him closer to winning Pennsylvania’s cache of 20 electoral votes Friday as county-by-county teams of ballot counters continued to toil.

The canvassing that in a normal year would have wrapped up on Friday will carry into next week, with many counties waiting until Monday to begin going through provisional ballots.

Tens of thousands of remaining mail-in ballots—as well as the provisional ballots and those cast by military and overseas voters—will decide whether Biden’s slim lead holds up or if Republican President Donald Trump can find the votes he needs to repeat his 2016 victory in the state.

State officials told SpotlightPA that 85,000 people in 56 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties have cast provisional ballots in the general election. House Speaker Bryan Cutler told reporters Friday he’s told the number could top 100,000.

Starting to count provisional ballots on Monday, some counties decided, will help ensure that they can include all valid mail-in votes arriving by Friday that were sent on or before Election Day.

“Nothing about the provisional process is easy,” Jeff Greenburg, regional director at the National Vote at Home Institute and a former Mercer County elections director, told SpotlightPA.

County workers have to check each ballot, and make sure the voter is eligible to vote, registered to vote, and hasn’t already voted. Then they record the vote. Then they have to enter their determination of whether the vote was valid into a state web portal that allows provisional voters to check the status of their ballot.

“It took our county a day and a half to do a little over 8,000 mail-in ballots in June,” Greenburg told SpotlightPA. “It took us two and a half days to do 650 provisionals, because of the labor-intensive work that’s required.”

Philadelphia officials said Friday that processing provisional ballots might take several days.

In Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, the crew worked through lunch on Friday, counting and sorting ballots. Officials were unsure when their count would be complete.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald had said earlier that counting would continue through the night, but announced at a briefing shortly after 10:30 p.m. that counters were stopping for the night.

“They’ve been doing it with observation, the press is here to watch it, there’s cameras everywhere. So this is a very, very transparent process,” Fitzgerald had said.

Pennsylvania elections officials were not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day under state law, and those ballots have skewed heavily in Biden’s favor after Trump spent months claiming without proof that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

There’s another possibility that could delay the results: If there is less than a half-percentage point difference between Biden’s and Trump’s vote totals, state law dictates that a recount must be held.

Under state law, counties must submit unofficial returns to the state on Tuesday and, after a period to allow for recounts, certify their results to the state on Nov. 23.

Pittsburgh lawyer Nicole Nino observed ballot counters inside the Allegheny County elections warehouse for the Republican Party.

“I thought I would come and see how this system is being managed, how ballots are being counted, see if there are discrepancies,” she said, coming away “very impressed with what they’re doing here. It seems to be very methodical, very organized.” —Associated Press

Nov. 6, 2020 // 6:30 p.m.

Democrat Incumbent Iovino Concedes State Senate Seat to Robinson

Democrats lost a state Senate seat as Pam Iovino fell to Devlin Robinson, 77,855 to 73,783.

Iovino announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that she had conceded the race, and Robinson would become the new state Senator for District 37.

“I just spoke with Devlin Robinson to congratulate him on winning the election to serve as our next State Senator,” she said.

“I promised him my cooperation in this transition, and we both are committed to be making sure that the people of the 37th District have the best representation possible.”

Iovino, a Navy veteran, won a special election to the Senate District seat in April 2019.

The district, which represents parts of Allegheny and Washington counties, has long been a Republican stronghold. Since 1969, it has been held by Republicans for all but eight years.

Robinson is a businessman and Marine veteran who was part of the rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 6, 2020 // 12:20 p.m.

DeFoor Wins Auditor General Race, Becoming First Person of Color to Win State Executive Office

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
Timothy DeFoor (Courtesy of Timothy DeFoor)

Republican Timothy DeFoor has won the state Auditor General race, and will be the first Black man elected to state executive office.

As of 12:20 p.m. Friday, DeFoor had about 261,000 more votes than Democratic candidate Nina Ahamad. Even if Ahmad won all of the remaining mail-in ballots (approximately 124,000) and provisional ballots (about 92,000), she would not be able to make up the difference.

The senior civil servant seat is charged with improving and auditing government accounting of taxpayers’ money. Under Eugene DePasquale, the current auditor general, the office has uncovered backlogged rape kids, financial mismanagement in school districts like Scranton and Harrisburg, and that county officials had received gifts from voting machine vendors.  

Since 1961, Democrats have held the seat, except for eight years when Republican Barbara Hafer served in the post. In that same time span, six Republicans and four Democrats have been governor.

The Auditor General post is often seen as a path to higher office. Bob Casey Sr. served as Auditor General before he was elected governor and Bob Casey Jr. held the position immediately before he was elected to the US Senate. Hafer was the Republican nominee for governor in 1990, but lost to the elder Casey. Hafer later switched parties and ran for Congress as a Democrat.

DeFoor, who is currently Dauphin County’s controller, has served as a special investigator in the state Inspector General’s office and as a special agent in the state Attorney General’s office.

In the Attorney General’s Office, DeFoor investigated Medicare and Medicaid fraud, abuse of the elderly, and prescription drug diversion, he said.

Ahmad, a molecular biologist and entrepreneur, would have been the first woman of color to win statewide office in Pennsylvania.

Ahmad had served as deputy mayor of Philadelphia for public engagement and was a member of the board of the National Organization for Women. She immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh when she was 21.

She won a crowded primary that featured six candidates combining for more than 1.5 million votes. She earned 551,144 votes. 

Ahmad previously ran for Lieutenant Governor. She lost that 2018 Democratic primary to John Fetterman, who went on to win the position alongside Gov. Tom Wolf.

Ahmad received endorsements from prominent Democrats, ranging from former President Barack Obama and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, to former candidates Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 6, 2020 // 11:15 a.m.

Republican Former US Attorneys Call Out Trump for ‘Unfounded Allegations of Voter Fraud’

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
President Donald Trump speaks in the briefing room at the White House on November 5, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A group of former US attorneys appointed by Republican presidents issued a statement Thursday evening criticizing Trump’s claims of voter fraud as “premature, baseless, and reckless.”

“Unfounded allegations of fraud and threats to initiate litigation aimed at stopping the vote count are clearly inappropriate and have the potential to undermine the rule of law as it applies to our electoral process,” the group said in a statement.

One of the signers, Greg Brower, a former US attorney for Nevada, served during the first years of the Trump administration as the FBI’s assistant director for congressional affairs.

“Whether it takes days, or even weeks, for [the electoral process] to conclude, it must be allowed to take place in a way that is open, fair, and lawful, and without any improper political interference,” the statement concludes. “The whole world is watching, and our very legitimacy as a nation of laws, not men, depends on getting this right.” — Kimberly Lawson

Nov. 6, 2020 // 9:52 a.m.

Sen. Toomey: Trump’s Voter Fraud Allegation is ‘Not Substantiated’

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., speaks during a ceremony in September 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Friday morning, Pennsylvania’s Republican US senator made the rounds of several morning news programs, and defended the electoral process in the Keystone State.

“The President’s speech last night was disturbing to me because he made very very serious allegations without evidence to support it,” Sen. Pat Toomey said on “CBS This Morning.”

“I am not aware of any significant fraud, any significant wrongdoing,” he said. 

Toomey criticized some politicians’ actions in the state, but defended vote-counting and the electoral process. 

“You can’t win an election until the votes have been counted,” he said.

One of his criticisms was that the state should allow observers to be closer to the officials counting votes. 

“That’s a real problem that should be fixed; that’s not right,” he said. “But it’s not proof that there’s widespread fraud.” 

Toomey then praised poll workers, vote counters and others helping out in the election.

“They’re working really hard, the overwhelming majority of them with complete integrity,” he said. 

To him, it all came down to respecting the democratic process.

“I voted for President Trump, I endorsed President Trump,” he said. “I want the next president to be the person who legitimately wins the Electoral College and I will accept whoever that is. That’s the way I think we need to approach this.” —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 6, 2020 // 9:32 a.m.

Biden Takes the Lead in Pennsylvania

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden joined by Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the The Queen theater Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Joe Biden’s path to the presidency took a dramatic leap overnight Thursday and Friday morning.

The former vice president now leads in Pennsylvania by 5,510 votes, rebounding from a 600,000-vote deficit on Wednesday morning. He also leads in Georgia by 1,097 votes.

A victory here would mean Biden secures the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the election.

A victory in Georgia would mean President Donald Trump won’t be able to earn the 270 Electoral College votes to capture re-election even if Trump wins the states that aren’t finished counting ballots.

If Biden stays in the lead in these states, he would earn 306 Electoral College votes, the same number Trump had when he won the presidency in 2016. Biden also has a lead in the popular vote, which Trump also lost in 2016.

Many of the places where mail-in ballots remain are Democratic strongholds like Philadelphia and Allegheny County. Biden has consistently been above 75% in Philadelphia. Another 36,000 mail-in ballots are in Allegheny County, where counting will resume shortly after 9 a.m. Friday.

Election officials also will need to count any mail-in ballots that arrived between Wednesday and 5 p.m. Friday, and more than 92,000 provisional ballots.

The mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day are being counted separately from the ballots that arrived prior to Election Day because they are currently part of a legal dispute by the GOP.

As of Friday morning, Biden still leads by about 47,000 votes in Arizona, and 12,000 in Nevada. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 6, 2020 // 7:15 a.m.

With More Than 163,000 Mail-In Ballots to Go, Biden is Closing in on Trump in Pennsylvania

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
A Philadelphia election workers processes mail-in and absentee ballots for the general election at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Joe Biden’s path to the presidency took a dramatic leap overnight Thursday.

The former vice president now leads in Georgia by 1,096 votes. A victory there would mean President Donald Trump won’t be able to earn the 270 Electoral College votes to capture re-election even if Trump wins the states that aren’t finished counting ballots.

Biden also leads in two of the three remaining states, one of which is Pennsylvania.

If Biden stays in the lead in these states, he would earn 286 Electoral College votes.

As of 1 a.m. Friday, Biden was down 18,066 votes with 163,501 mail-in ballots left to be counted across the state. Almost 59,000 of those mail-in ballots are in Philadelphia, where Biden has been getting more than 75% of the vote so far. Another 36,000 mail-in ballots are in Pittsburgh, where counting will resume shortly after 9 a.m. Friday.

Election officials also will need to count any mail-in ballots that arrived between Wednesday and 5 p.m. Friday, and an unknown number of provisional ballots.

The mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day are being counted separately from the ballots that arrived prior to Election Day because they are currently part of a legal dispute by the GOP.

As of Friday morning, Biden still leads by about 47,000 votes in Arizona, and 12,000 in Nevada. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 5, 2020 // 10:28 p.m.

Pennycuick Beats Dennin in 147th State House District Race

Republican Tracy Pennycuick has beaten Jill Dennin, 21,125 to 16,283 for the 147th state House District.

Just fewer than 3,000 mail-in ballots remain to be counted.

Pennycuick will replace Marcy Toepel, who had held the seat since 2010.

Pennycuick is an Amry veteran and a businesswoman who ran as a moderate and said she would refuse a state pension and health care benefits.

Dennin, who was endorsed by the AFL-CIO, built a campaign around issues like keeping health care affordable, reforming property tax laws, and improving infrastructure.

The district is in Montgomery County. —Ashley Adams

Nov. 5, 2020 // 9:45 p.m.

Incumbent Republican Perry Wins Re-Election in Congressional District 10

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
In this Oct. 8, 2019 file photo, Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa. from Pennsylvania’s 10th U.S. Congressional District, appears before reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Republican US Rep. Scott Perry has won another term in Congress.

At about 9:45 p.m. Thursday, Perry had a total of more than 204,800 votes while Democratic challenger Eugene DePasquale had about 178,600 votes. With only a total of 3,950 mail-in ballots to be counted in the three counties that are partially included in the 10th Congressional District, there does not appear to be a way for DePasquale to make up the gap.

DePasquale conceded the race earlier in the evening, saying, “While this isn’t the result we had hoped for, I am proud of our campaign and the premise it was built on: that this seat does not belong to one party or corporate interests, but to the working people of this community.”

He congratulated Perry on the victory.

“I promise that he will have my support, and I will do my part,” DePasquale wrote. 

Perry was first elected to represent the 4th Congressional District (parts of York, Adams, and Cumberland counties) in 2013. He was re-elected in 2018. The district was redrawn in 2018 to include parts of Cumberland, Dauphin, and York counties.

Perry currently serves on the House Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Foreign Affairs.

He previously served three terms as a State Representative in the Pennsylvania General Assembly.

DePasquale served as a state representative for part of York County from 2007 to 2013. He then was elected Auditor General, and will finish out that term in 2021. —Ashley Adams

Nov. 5, 2020 // 11:57 a.m.

Allegheny County Pauses Counting 35,000 Mail-In Ballots. Here’s Why.

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
In this Oct. 29, 2020, file photo, a portion of mail-in and absentee ballots that have arrived at the Allegheny County Election Division are kept in a secure area at the Elections warehouse in Pittsburgh, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Allegheny County has about 35,000 mail-in ballots that need to be counted, but they won’t be until Friday morning.

A vast majority of those ballots, about 29,000, are because a third-party vendor mailed incorrect ballots to voters earlier this year. County officials need to check those against voting records to make sure they are not recording duplicate votes.

The other ballots, according to Pittsburgh’s WPXI, are “naked ballots” or ballots with issues like missing signatures.

“We have resolution bins for the ones that the declaration was incomplete or didn’t have a date and a signature,” Allegheny County Solicitor Andy Szefi told WPXI. “Those are not part of the count. They have been set aside. They’ll be determined by elections management staff and consultations by the law department whether those eventually do get counted. There will be ones that clearly don’t and there will be ones that will.”

The county has been dealing with the issue of the 29,000 ballots for weeks now. County officials even made a tool for voters to use to find out if they were among the people who got the wrong ballots. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 5, 2020 // 11:30 a.m.

Incumbent Republican Mehaffie Retains State House Seat in District 106

Republican state Rep. Thomas Mehaffie has won re-election in the 106th state House District.

With all 37 in-person precincts counted and less than 1,000 mail-in ballots left to tally in Dauphin County as of 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Mehaffie had 18,812 votes to Democratic challenger Lindsay Drew’s 16,286. Even if all of the mail-in ballots go to Drew, she cannot make up the gap.

Mehaffie was elected to the seat in 2016.

He campaigned on a platform of tax reform, and making state government more responsive and accountable.

Drew, a small business owner and president and founder of the Jessica Drew Sunshine Memorial Fund, campaigned on a platform of increasing funding for education, ensuring affordable health care for everyone, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, expanding legal protections for all racial and LGBTQ+ communities, and protecting women’s reproductive rights. —Ashley Adams

Nov. 5, 2020 // 7:15 a.m.

With More Than 760,000 Ballots to Go, Mail-Ins Already Changing Leads in Some Races

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
An election worker opens up a mail-in ballot before it is counted in the 2020 general election at the Dauphin County Administration Building, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Pennsylvanians are waking up to very different races today than the early results they saw yesterday. 

Those races aren’t over yet, however. As of 7 a.m. Thursday, 763,311 mail-in votes that were submitted before Election Day still need to be counted. That’s a steep drop from the more than 1.4 million everyone was waiting on 24 hours earlier. 

The races have swung drastically.

It starts with the race everyone has their eyes on: President Donald Trump’s lead over Joe Biden plummeted from over 500,000 yesterday morning to about 176,000. It remains to be seen whether Biden’s vote total can close that gap.

Democrats cast 1 million more mail-in ballots than Republicans, so it’s possible Biden’s popular vote total could surpass Trump’s when all votes are counted.

A few lines down the ballot, mail-in ballots have helped some Democrats take the poll position in their races.

Incumbent Attorney General Josh Shapiro had about 62,000 more votes than Republican challenger Heather Heidelbaugh as of 7 a.m.

US Rep. Matt Cartwright rebounded from a deficit of 10,000 votes to a more than 7,300-vote lead in the race to represent Pennsylvania’s 8th congressional district over Republican challenger Jim Bognet. The district represents Northeastern Pennsylvania.

US Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (6th District) went from trailing to earning a victory by midday Tuesday. Her opponent, John Emmons wrote a conciliatory post on Facebook after the Associated Press called the race. The district includes Reading and parts of Berks and Chester counties.

Others have held cut into their lead, but still trail.

Democrat Nina Ahmad has cut into Republican Timothy DeFoor’s lead in the state Auditor General’s race. She was trailing DeFoor by 411,600 votes at 7 a.m.

Democrat Joseph Torsella has also cut into Republican Stacy Garrity’s lead for Treasurer. He was trailing Garrity by about 267,000 votes at 7 a.m. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 4, 2020 // 4:17 p.m.

Democrat Slomski Concedes Erie State Senate Race to Incumbent Laughlin

Republican incumbent Dan Laughlin secured his second four-year term in the state Senate representing the 49th district in Erie County, beating Democrat Julie Slomski.

“While these are not the results we had hoped for, I wish Dan Laughlin the best in his second term,” Slomski said in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon. “As a community, we must continue to fight for access to affordable healthcare, fight for living wages, and fight for educational opportunities for our children. I remain inspired by all of those who joined me on the campaign trail, and those I met along the way. And know that this is just the beginning of our fight to move Erie County forward.”

Although Slomski wished Laughlin well in his next term, Laughlin failed to acknowledge his opposition in his statement, which was more targeted to his supporters and his future plans. 

“It now appears that the voters of the 49th District have entrusted me with another term as their state senator. I understand that this office is not my possession. It is a trust on loan from my fellow citizens,” Laughlin said in a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon. “My agenda for the coming term is at once plain and difficult. I want a City Revitalization Improvement Zone for Erie. The program has shown its worth in Lancaster and Bethlehem. It would mean growth and revitalization in Erie’s hardest-hit neighborhoods.”

Even with well-funded election campaigns—each raised more than $1.5 million— Slomski came up short. 

On Election Day, Laughlin garnered 51,476 votes. Slomski received less than half of that, finishing the night with 19,945. The 15,842 mail-in and absentee ballots she obtained—as of Wednesday afternoon—weren’t enough to make up the gap, as Laughlin gained 9,185 votes from mail-in and absentee ballots. In total Laughlin garnered 60,661 votes—that’s 24,874 votes more than Slomski.

There’s no chance that provisional ballots, which are counted last, can make up the difference.

Slomski, the former northwest regional director for Gov. Tom Wolf, built her campaign’s platform based on ensuring access to affordable healthcare and raising the minimum wage to $15—a dollar amount that she believed was a true family-sustaining wage in Pennsylvania. She said raising the minimum wage would especially help single mothers working multiple jobs to make ends meet.

The Erie County Board of Election expects to conclude ballot counting on Thursday, a day earlier than required, Carl Anderson III, the board’s chairman, said Wednesday morning. —Gema María Duarte

Nov. 4, 2020 // 3:25 p.m.

Incumbent Fitzpatrick Holds onto Congressional District 1 Seat

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
In this Jan. 8, 2019 file photo, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., in Pennsylvania’s 1st U.S. Congressional District, speaks in Philadelphia during a demonstration. Fitzpatrick appears to have won re-election in 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

It appears that Republican US Rep. Brain Fitzpatrick has won another term in Congress.

At about 3:25 p.m. Wednesday, Fitzpatrick had about a 70,000-vote lead on Democratic challenger Christina Finello, with about 68,000 mail-in ballots left to be counted in Bucks County.

Fitzpatrick was just one of three US House Republicans in the country running for reelection in a district Trump lost in 2016, according to the Associated Press.

Congressional District 1 was redrawn in February 2018, as the result of what the state Supreme Court determined to be unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. It’s somewhat similar to the old 8th District, where Fitzpatrick was the incumbent. Brian Fitzpatrick won the seat in 2016 after his brother, Michael Fitzpatrick, decided not to seek reelection.

Brian Fitzpatrick was elected in 2018 to the newly drawn 1st District. 

Fitzpatrick, 46, is a Bucks County native. He grew up in Levittown, and attended Penn State University and Dickinson Law School. He is an attorney and certified public accountant.

Fitzpatrick served in the FBI as a supervisory special agent. While with the FBI, Fitzpatrick served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and was the national director for the agency’s Campaign Finance and Election Crimes Enforcement Program and national supervisor for its political corruption unit.

He lived in California for several years before he returned to Pennsylvania to run for the congressional seat his brother formerly held.

Throughout the campaign, Finello said the Republican was too closely aligned to President Donald Trump and not representing the suburban Philadelphia district.

She said Trump is attempting to take away health care “in the middle of the worst health care crisis in a century… He’s able to do that because of a law my opponent supported.”

Fitzpatrick has said he sees the ACA as a failure.

“The Affordable Care Act has failed to live up to its promises and too many are left with skyrocketing premiums, limited access to their doctors and insurers pulling out of the system entirely.”

Fitzpatrick stressed the need to fix the nation’s healthcare system “in a responsible, deliberate manner… keep what works and come together to fix what is broken.” —Freda Savana

Nov. 4, 2020 // 9:20 a.m.

With More Than 1.4 Million PA Mail-in Ballots to Be Counted, Races Still Too Close to Call

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
Chester County, election workers check mail-in and absentee ballots for the 2020 general election in a gymnasium at West Chester University, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020, in West Chester, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Many of the important races in Pennsylvania are still faaaaarrrr from over. 

The state issued a little more than 3 million mail-in ballots. Voters returned approximately 2.57 million ballots, and 1.4 million of those ballots (55%) still need to be counted, according to the state’s election dashboard.

It is unclear how many of the approximately 500,000 voters who did not return their mail-in ballots never received them and voted via provisional ballots, which still need to be verified, or received them but chose to vote at the polls instead.

Twenty-one counties (almost a third of the state’s 67 counties) have not even started counting mail-in ballots.

They are: Adams, Armstrong, Beaver, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cameron, Carbon, Columbia, Crawford, Cumberland, Franklin, Green, Huntington, Indiana, Juniata, Mercer, Montour, Tioga, Venango, and York counties.

It’s not just those rural red areas that the state—and the nation—is waiting on, however.

Philadelphia received more than 350,000 mail-in ballots, and has counted only 75,755 (only about 22%).

Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, received almost 349,000 mail-in ballots, and has counted almost 50% of them.

All of those mail-in ballots will certainly affect the presidential election, but also state-wide offices and many down ballot races. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 4, 2020 // 1:05 a.m.

Biden Delivers A Message to the Nation: ‘It Ain’t Over Til Every Ballot Is Counted’

As ballots continue to be counted, Democratic nominee Joe Biden told Americans that his campaign was positive about the results thus far and reiterated the importance of counting every vote.

“We feel good about where we are, we really do,” Biden said during a speech after midnight in Wilmington. “I believe we are on track to win this election.”

The results are still undetermined in several battleground states, but Biden said that was to be expected due to the unprecedented number of mail-in and early votes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It ain’t over ‘til every ballot is counted, but we’re feeling good about where we are,” Biden said, reiterating that his campaign was confident about winning Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Georgia.

“As I’ve said all along, it’s not my place or Donald Trump’s place to determine, it’s the American people,” Biden said.

As expected, the outcome of the 2020 election will likely not be known tonight. A huge percentage of votes remain uncounted in swing states like Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, largely due to state laws regulating the timelines for counting of mail-in ballots. In Pennsylvania alone, more than 2 million ballots remain to be counted, while the bulk of ballots remaining in Georgia are in the heavily-Democratic Atlanta metro area.

This outcome is not a surprise. These delays are in part due to inaction in Republican legislatures in states like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Those legislatures refused to allow mail-in ballots to be processed or counted prior to Election Day, as President Trump continued to lie about voting by mail and voter fraud.

As a result, the current counts tilt heavily towards in-person Election Day ballots, which lean Republican. But as mail-in votes are counted over the next few days, this “red mirage” will likely evaporate and may even turn into a “blue shift” with Joe Biden potentially winning the election. — Keya Vakil and Meghan McCarthy

Nov. 3, 2020 // 11:45 p.m.

GOP Senate Leadership to PA Secretary of State: Resign! SOS: No, You Resign!

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar speaks during a press conference late Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (Screenshot)

An hour after leaders of the majority-GOP state Senate called on state Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar to resign, she fired back, saying, “They don’t like anything that allows more eligible voters to be enfranchised.”

Boockvar made the comment during a press conference around 11 p.m. on Election Night.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnatti (R-Jefferson) and Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) alleged Boockvar had changed the way ballots were being reported and called for her resignation.

She strenuously disagreed.

“I have no intent to resign and I disagree with everything they say in their release,” Boockvar said. “Frankly, I think they’re the ones that should resign for not having allowed Pennsylvania and this nation to start pre-canvassing ballots early as 46 other states across this country have done.”

She said the state’s residents wouldn’t have to wait days for results if those Republicans had allowed pre-canvassing of mail-in ballots. —Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 3, 2020 // 1:52 p.m.

‘Real Housewife’ Yolanda Hadid Casts Her First Vote Ever in a US Election in Bucks County

Former “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Yolanda Hadid voted in a US election for the first time on Tuesday. And she voted right here in Pennsylvania.

“Took my mama to vote for the first time today!!!” Yolanda’s daughter, Bella Hadid, posted on Instagram Tuesday. “She became an American citizen just recently and this year she was so determined to get out and vote.”

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates

The elder Hadid was born in the Netherlands and became a US citizen in 2013

After Page Six reported that Hadid voted on Tuesday, LevittownNow editor Tom Sofield confirmed that she went to the polls in Bucks County. Property records show the Hadids own a home in Central Bucks. —Christina Kristofic

Nov. 3, 2020 // 10:40 a.m.

Biden Returns to Scranton as America Heads to The Polls: ‘It’s Good to Be Home’

Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden stopped at a union hall in south Scranton early on Election Day.

“It’s good to be home,” Biden said to the several dozen volunteers who had gathered there before they went out to canvass local neighborhoods.

A smaller crowd, made up mostly of supporters, stood down the street, chanting for Biden. And a loose dog ran around the gathering.

“Thanks for stepping up,” one man yelled to Biden. Others yelled things like “We love you Joe!” and “Thank you!” 

Biden, US Sen. Bob Casey, and Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti spoke.

Casey later told the press he was confident about Biden’s chances of winning.

Biden then traveled to his childhood home, where crowds had gathered to see him.

One young voter shouted, “He’s right there! Oh my God! That’s my future president.”

He spoke with Anne Kearns, the current owner of the home.

“I watch ya all the time,” Kearns said outside during their brief public exchange. “I’m so proud of you.”

They went inside, where Biden scrawled a note on the wall.

After Biden left Scranton, we talked with Cognetti.

Patrick Abdalla

Nov. 3, 2020 // 8:19 a.m.

Watch Philly Open and Count Mail-In Ballots

The largest city in the state has set up a livestream of its pre-canvassing and counting process.

Nov. 3, 2020 // 7:27 a.m.

Long Lines at the Polls

Voters and reporters at many polling places reported long lines—longer than ever before—when the polls opened at 7 a.m.

In Philadelphia…

In Bensalem in Lower Bucks County…

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
Two lines at Valley Elementary School in Bensalem on Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (Courtesy of Gema María Duarte)

In Doylestown Township in Central Bucks County…

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates
The line at the Doylestown Township municipal building in Bucks County at about 9 a.m. (Courtesy of Tyler Tomlinson)

In East Rockhill Township in Upper Bucks County…

In Lackawanna County…

In Pittsburgh in Allegheny County…

Nov. 2, 2020

2.4M Pennsylvanians Already Have Cast Ballots

LIVE BLOG: Pennsylvania's Latest Election Updates

There are 9 million registered voters in the state—a record—and more than 3 million of them requested mail-in ballots.

The Keystone has your on-the-ground look at what’s happening in some key parts of Pennsylvania today. 

We might be in the middle of a pandemic, but Pennsylvanians still are expected to break voter turnout records today.

More than 3 million Pennsylvanians requested mail-in ballots, and started voting as soon as they got them.

But some people still prefer to go to the polls.

Election officials across the state have assembled large teams of poll workers to help things go smoothly at the polls, and bought new machines to count ballots when they arrive tonight.

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and we have journalists on the ground, bringing you live updates from precincts across the state.

We’ll also share news we see from other news organizations, so you can get a fuller picture of Election Day.

Bookmark this page so you don’t miss a thing.

But Before You Go…

We have some resources to help you make sure your vote is counted:


CATEGORIES: Uncategorized


Local News

Related Stories
Share This