Pennsylvania primary timing: Results could be out on Wednesday, experts say

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Philadelphians eager for the results of the midterm primary will likely get the most answers Wednesday morning, experts say.

The contested Democratic primaries for state legislative seats in Philadelphia involve only segments of the city and thus do not require counting too many mail-in ballots. And for state races, the closest races are among Republicans, who are much less likely to vote by mail.

That means most of the races relevant to Philadelphia are likely to be called Tuesday night, election attorney Adam Bonin predicts.

“The volume of mail-in votes is not as high as it is in presidential years, so … we should be in good shape Tuesday night, especially on the Republican side, where there will be fewer mail-in votes to count. Bonin said.

About 10% of Philadelphia’s registered voters, just over 104,000 people, requested mail-in ballots for the May 2022 primary, according to state records. As of Monday, more than 65k of those had been returned.

As a point of comparison, in the November 2020 general election, three and a half times as many Philadelphians voted by mail, about 365,000 people.

Under state law, Bonin noted, mail-in ballot processing still can’t begin until the polls open Tuesday morning. How fast will that go?

There are 48,000 ballots in Philadelphia that can “go through the process” on Election Day, but not all of them will be approved to be counted immediately, according to Nick Custodio, a spokesman for the city commissioners. Some may require additional review.

Some mail-in ballots arrived after May 10 and are not marked as returned in the paper poll books, so election officials will have to cross-check to make sure there are no double votes. That process will take until Thursday night or Friday morning, Custodio said.

In Pennsylvania counties, 911,000 requests for mail-in and absentee ballots have been processed, and about 576,000 have been returned, according to Mark Walters, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State.

The State Department plans to hold news conferences at 9 pm and 11 pm Tuesday night to provide updates on the election. The last conference is designated as “if needed” in the department announcement.

Republican mail-in voters could still end up making a difference

Only about 5,000 mail-in ballot applicants in Philadelphia are Republicans, compared to about 93,000 Democrats.

Statewide, about 199,000 Republicans requested mail-in ballots and about 125,000 of them had been returned by Monday. About 680,000 Democrats applied for ballots by mail, and about 452,000 of them were received on Monday.

It’s hard to say exactly how close the state primaries will be, particularly on the Republican side.

In the gubernatorial race, Susquehanna Polling & Research released a poll Monday that showed Doug Mastriano with a clear lead (29%) after winning the endorsement of former President Trump, ahead of Bill McSwain (18%) and Lou Barletta. (fifteen %). An earlier poll by Franklin & Marshall College had Mastriano at 20%, McSwain at 12% and Barletta at 11%.

Across the aisle, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is the only Democratic candidate on the ballot.

For the US Senate, Susquehanna had Mehmet Oz (28%) and Kathy Barnette (27%) neck-and-neck as of Monday, with David McCormick at just 11% and all other candidates in single digits. . The F&M poll showed Oz and McCormick at 18% and 16%, respectively, and Barnette at 12%.

The Democratic Senate primaries are not that close in the polls. F&M had favorite John Fetterman at 53% and Conor Lamb at 14%.

Even with fewer GOP mail-in votes, if the Senate or gubernatorial races are as close as the polls show, “it could be a few days until we know the outcome,” said Stephen Medvic, a professor of government at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster. “In fact, depending on whether there are lawsuits, it could be longer than that.”

Still, Medvic added: “I don’t think that’s likely and I guess, even for very close races, we’ll know on Wednesday morning.”

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