As Pennsylvania counts over 2 million mail-in ballots that could sway state to Biden, GOP leaders call for PA secretary of state’s resignation

The results of Pennsylvania’s presidential vote — and the state’s prized 20 electoral votes — have taken center stage in the 2020 election.

The reason is more than 2.5 million mail-in ballots that still need to be counted, the Morning Call reported. At the moment, President Donald Trump holds a big advantage — as of late Wednesday morning, there were 3,025,470 votes for Trump and 2,491,390 votes for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

But since Democratic voters vastly favor mail-in ballots more than Republicans, Biden’s camp is hopeful the mail-in tally will put him in the lead. Indeed, the New York Times reported early Wednesday that Biden so far has won absentee ballots counted by an overwhelming margin, according to data from the secretary of state — and if the trend holds, he’ll take Pennsylvania.

But amid the potentially lengthy mail-in vote count process — it could take days — is anger from state GOP officials.

What are the details?

While Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar — who heads Pennsylvania’s vote count — said Tuesday’s in-person election went well, the Morning Call said top Republicans in the state Senate late Tuesday called for Boockvar’s immediate resignation because she “fundamentally altered” election conduct by giving “constantly changing guidance” to counties.

But Boockvar denied the claims and declined to resign, the paper said, adding that Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf backed her up by saying GOP officials were engaging in “a partisan attack on Pennsylvania’s elections and our votes.”

More from the Morning Call:

Boockvar said that in their call for her to resign, state Sens. Joe Scarnati and Jake Corman ― respectively, the Senate President Pro Tempore and the Majority Leader ― mischaracterized her instructions to county officials on handling mail-in ballots that arrive after polls closed Tuesday.

The Republicans said Boockvar contradicted the Election Code and state and U.S. supreme courts in her instructions, but Boockvar said her instructions were to separate the ballots that arrived after 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Republicans have mounted a challenge to the state Supreme Court’s ruling that ballots received for up to three days after in-person voting ends may be counted. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to overturn that decision before the election and instructed state officials to ensure those ballots were kept separately from others.

In fact, Boockvar shot back by saying Scarnati and Corman should resign for preventing mail-in ballots from being counted sooner, the paper said.

“They don’t like the late counting of ballots because they don’t like anything that allows more eligible voters to be enfranchised,” Boockvar noted, according to the Morning Call.

More from the paper:

Mail-in ballots received by Tuesday morning included more than 1.6 million from Democrats, 586,336 from Republicans and 278,393 from independent voters and others.

That means about 81% of mail-in ballot requests generated actual returned ballots. That, Boockvar said, is a “very good percentage” and tops the 80% figure achieved in the June 2 primary election and the historical range of 70%-80%.

Boockvar said the overwhelming majority of the 2.5 million-plus mail ballots received by Tuesday morning will be counted within a few days.

Wolf urged patience and said votes would be counted “accurately” and “fully,” CBS News reported.

“The delay that we’re seeing is a sign that the system is working,” the governor added, according to the network.

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