Without presidential levels of turnout, county officials were cautiously estimating that Pennsylvanians will know their local election results on Tuesday night.
“I think we will know the majority of results tonight,” Allegheny County Councilwoman, Bethany Hallam, who also serves on the county election board, told the Capital-Star.
The county is home to a bruising Democratic mayoral primary between incumbent Mayor Bill Peduto and state Rep. Ed Gainey, as well as a wide-open race to fill 10 seats on the county Court of Common Pleas.
Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries added that “we should know the results tonight.” The county is home to Harrisburg, which has a five-way primary fight for mayor.
County officials took days to finish counting votes in last year’s presidential election, when Pennsylvania voters returned 2.6 million mail-in ballots. Counties were not able to open and process them until Election Day morning, while others waited until the next day to start.
In May’s primary election, Pennsylvania voters returned 564,000 mail-in ballots, or just a fifth of November’s total. However, the same restrictions on opening the ballots remain, and will be subject to intense negotiations in Harrisburg over the coming weeks.
There could be some exceptions to the sunny results projection. In Centre County, Commissioner Mike Pipe said he expected final results by 5 p.m.
On Twitter, Chester County Commissioner Josh Maxwell added that he expected results to be complete sometime Wednesday.
Chester should be done sometime tomorrow. Mail + in person.
— Josh Maxwell (@maxwelljosh) May 18, 2021