Lehigh County nears the end of mail-ballot count, more “naked ballots” found

Written by on November 6, 2020

 Lehigh County nears the end of mail-ballot count, more “naked ballots” found

By Tyler Pratt

November 6, 2020

Please be patient: We most likely won’t know the results of the Nov. 3 election in Pa. and across the country for several days. Click here for all of our election coverage and results as we get them.

Lehigh County Chief Clerk Tim Benyo reads off a stack of “naked” ballots to poll watchers, meaning they were sent in with out the extra “secrecy envelope.” Watchers can’t touch them but will log & then try to reach the voter by 8 p.m. to come cast their ballot again. Photo Tyler Pratt

Lehigh County workers are nearly finished counting mail-in ballots. Just before midnight, they published new numbers ahead of a state filing deadline.

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Chief Clerk Tim Benyo delivered the new totals to an exhausted crew. More than 68,000 mail-ballots have been tallied. Bringing the total in the county, including in-person votes, to nearly 174,000 so far. 

“We have about five thousand more mail ballots to count first thing in the morning; we should knock that out first thing in the morning. There’s about 3,500-4,000 provisionals, a small number of military and overseas, federal,” says Benyo.

Also remaining are the mail ballots that came in Tuesday after 8 p.m. Benyo said he’s hoping for some guidance about what do with those votes. They’re currently the focus of a Trump campaign lawsuit. 

What appears to be about a thousand or so, quote, “naked ballots,” which were cast without the required secrecy envelope, were excluded from the count. Benyo says after they are processed, voters will likely be notified their ballots weren’t counted

Currently, Lehigh County voters have overwhelmingly cast their ballots in favor of Democrats, including the presidential race, with Joe Biden leading by a margin of more than 10,000 votes.

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