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Ballot count continues in Luzerne County

All eyes remain on Luzerne County in the days following the general election debacle that saw computerized voting machines run out of paper.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Hundreds of provisional ballots still need to be sorted through and verified. Many of those ballots were cast at polling places in Luzerne County that ran out of the paper needed for the voting machines.

A crowd gathered inside a room at Penn Place in Wilkes-Barre as the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections Board resumed the ballot count.

"I think some of the concerns from some of our friends and colleagues on the other side raised are procedural: What will happen when ballots are segregated? How long will the process take? How many provisionals there are — that type of thing. It's the ordinary pushing and shoving," said Neil O'Donnell, counsel to the Luzerne County Democratic Party.

Acting Director of Elections Beth McBride estimated the county needed to count 1,200 to 1,500 ballots.

The first order of business is sorting through boxes of provisional ballots cast by voters who did not receive the mail-in ballot they requested.

Lawyers for both parties raised questions about the process. The board invited them up to get a good look.

"I'm also going to look at what the poll worker wrote as their issue. The voter was issued a mail-in ballot, so we are going to go back to these to look for any other possible deficiencies because there are some things that aren't up here, which could be a problem," said Denise Williams, chair of the board of elections.

Also still to be counted are provisional ballots filled out by voters at polling places that ran out of paper for the voting machines.

The board of elections plans to work into the evening, possibly picking up on Monday if needed. All court-ordered segregated ballots will be counted last.

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