Pa. officials confirm all mail-in ballots are getting processed, but how fast is hard to say

Mail-in ballot
Mail-in ballot Photo credit iStock/Getty Images Plus
By KYW Newsradio 1060

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- There is a delay between when a mail-in ballot is processed and when the confirmation email goes out to the voter. That’s causing some panic among voters -- and apparently some confusion among elections officials.

The culprit, according Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, is their voter registration system, which dates back to 2002. Boockvar urged voters to be patient because county elections offices are getting swamped with thousands of ballots each day.

County officials have said, when they process ballots to confirm reciept, they can only upload about 200 at a time.

Asked about it, both Boockvar and Deputy Secretary for Elections Jonathan Marks said there’s a fix.

“I think now they’re uploading, like, a thousand at a time, which is pretty good for a 2002 voter registration system,” Boockvar said.

But Montgomery County COO and elections chief clerk Lee Soltysiak confirms they can only upload 200 at a time to confirm receipt.

“In fact we got a call this morning from the department of a state confirming we should not go above 200,” he said.

“It is a very manual process but voters – I think the important thing is voters can be reassured that we are receiving thousands and thousands of ballots everyday.”

For example, they got 20,000 ballots in one day.

“Once the ballots are received by the county, we date-stamp and sort every single one, and they are put in a locked room under 24-hour surveillance,” Soltysiak said.

Montgomery County has processed more than 250,000 ballot applications. About 246,000 have been mailed. About 96,000 are already returned.

The voter registration system keeping track of the returned ballots is not involved in counting them. County officials say it would be helpful if the department of state would send messages to voters to clarify the delay.