Precinct 29 worker Doris Gray holding up a stack of ballots

Weekly Roundup: Inside the long, slow, accurate count of Pennsylvania’s mail-in ballots

By Gabe Schneider

Votebeat is a pop-up nonprofit newsroom covering local election administration and voting in eight states, created by Chalkbeat. This is a roundup of stories VoteBeat reporters published since our Post-Election Roundup. 


Why did Philadelphia wait until Election Day to start counting mail-in ballots? Elections officials knew about the delays this would create in advance, reports Sojourner Ahebee with WURD, but Republican legislators wouldn’t budge on changing the law to allow an earlier start. 


More than 100,000 provisional ballots still needed to be counted in Pennsylvania, reports Tom Lisi for Spotlight PA. He explains why there are so many, what it takes to count them, and why  the large number could further delay finalizing election results in the state. 


Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said he doubted the election results, while providing absolutely no evidence of election impropriety. Read our story in Spotlight PA. 





In Detroit, one Democratic poll challenger at the TCF center said President Trump’s allegations of fraud drew “a slew of white people” to challenge Black votes. One Republican poll challenger said her questions weren’t answered and she couldn’t get near enough to the workers to observe them closely. The two poll challengers’ accounts are vastly different, but only one matched up with others’ description of the situation. Read more at Bridge Michigan. 



North Carolina

Gaston County election workers did a count, one by one, of a random sampling of the ballots cast on Election Day. Slowly but surely, in a quality-control step called canvassing, they ensured the machines got the vote counts right. “We like to make sure that we’re not about speed,” said County Elections Director Adam Ragan. Read more at WFAE. 




There are still millions of ballots left to count in California. But that’s completely normal. Lewis Griswold at CalMatters explains how California still needed to count 4.5 million ballots as of Thursday. “This is a normal part of every election we have,” said Cathy Darling Allen, registrar of voters in Shasta County.


With post-election anxiety, Californians gathered to protest any attempt at election tampering nationwide. Two reporters at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism report from San Francisco, where rally organizers protested outside of Twitter headquarters and asked the website to ban the President from the platform for spreading misinformation.