State Watch

Pennsylvania says half of requested mail-in ballots have already been cast

Pennsylvania election officials announced Friday that at least half of the mail-in ballots requested for the Nov. 3 elections have already been cast.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D) said that just under 1.5 million people have voted via absentee or mail-in ballots so far in the election, local ABC affiliate WPVI reported.

“It’s almost exactly the total number of Pennsylvanians who voted by mail in the primary, and we still have 11 days ago,” Boockvar said, referring to the state’s June primary.

Democrats are far outpacing Republicans in early voting thus far, according to Pennsylvania Department of State figures reported by the news outlet.

Democrats have returned more than 1 million ballots, while Republicans have returned 293,318. Those without any party affiliation have returned 132,680 ballots.

Boockvar said her agency is coordinating with officials on all levels, according to WPVI.

The Hill has reached out to the Pennsylvania Department of State for further comment.

Pennsylvania is a hotly contested battleground this year, with Democratic nominee Joe Biden leading President Trump by 7 points, according to a USA Today-Suffolk University poll released this week.

Biden is campaigning in the state on Saturday, and former President Obama made stops there on the former vice president’s behalf earlier this week.

Trump will appear in other battleground states on Saturday, making campaign stops in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin.

On Friday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania can’t be tossed based on any perceived mismatch between signatures on a voter application and the ballot itself.

The ruling was in response to Boockvar’s request for clarity on the state’s mail-in ballot rule and resolved an ongoing battle between Boockvar and the Trump campaign over the state’s election code. 

Earlier in the week, the U.S. Supreme Court left intact the state’s extension for mail-in ballots, allowing ballots to be counted up to three days after the election as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3.

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