November 4, 2020
NORRISTOWN — Just two hours after the polls closed on election night, Montgomery County elected officials offered a status report during a press conference in Norristown.
“Right now, we do not have a firm count on numbers for the voter turnout, but our initial reports tell us the turnout was strong across the county,” said Montgomery County Commissioners’ Vice Chairman Ken Lawrence Jr. during a press conference Tuesday night.
The briefing was held at the Montgomery County Vote Counting Operation inside the human services center, located at 1430 Dekalb St. It was also streamed live on the county’s Facebook page.
When referencing the election’s in-person component, Lawrence said there were “some lines in the morning” hours as voters headed to the polls.
“I’m happy to report that we had a very smooth in person election,” he said.
Lawrence said he anticipated the “total in person results in by 1 a.m. Wednesday morning.”
Montgomery County Commissioners’ Chairwoman Val Arkoosh called this particular election “historic,” citing “strong” “voter turnout” during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m happy to report that we did not have any major disruptions at the polls in Montgomery County today,” Arkoosh said.
As for the mail-in portion of the election, 279,939 Montgomery County voters applied for mail-in ballots, and 239,336 ballots have been received so far, which translates to 86 percent of the total number of mail-in ballots, according to Lawrence.
He added that “does not include” the ballots from “today’s mail” and secure “drop boxes.”
According to the county’s election resources webpage, 103,118 have been counted as of 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, which translates to 43.08 percent of the counted mail-in ballots.
Lawrence estimated it “will take another 40 hours” to gather a complete mail-in ballot count. For more information on election results in Montgomery County, visit montcopa.org/election2020.
“Our staff will be working around the clock to update the numbers and post the results as they come in,” Arkoosh said.
“We are asking that you please have patience as we work to conduct the count as efficiently and safely as possible,” Lawrence said. “Remember, speed is important, but accuracy is our number one priority.”
A lawsuit concerning nearly 50 mail-in ballots was also addressed Tuesday night.
According to Montgomery County Communications Director Kelly Cofransisco, a motion was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by Kathy Barnette, a Republican candidate running for the seat in the fourth congressional district.
The suit aims to “challeng[e] certain procedures used by the Montgomery County Board of Election during the intake of mail-in ballots, and to notify electors of any potential issues that were identified in the intake process,” Cofransisco said in a statement.
In a statement to MediaNews Group, Cofransisco said that “all voters with defective ballots will not be contacted because we do not have contact information for all voters. For those that we do, we reached out to make them aware of the issues. Of those who we reached out to, 49 cured their ballots. Those are the ballots being segregated while we wait for the hearing tomorrow.”
“We believe that what we did was permissible under the election code,” Lawrence said during Tuesday’s press conference.
The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Cofransisco.