Fetterman Makes An Alarming Prediction Of A ‘Dramatic’ Overnight Win For Democrats

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

In the 2020 presidential election, mail-in and absentee ballots were used to an astonishing degree, prompting questions and speculation about how secure and accurate such voting is. The pandemic was used for the reasoning to expand non-in-person voting but the procedures for such are being used as well in this 2022 midterm election.

The flood of absentee ballots issued for this election will surely create a bottleneck. The New York Times reported that in the 2020 election, 42 states and Washington D.C. had enough ballots counted to call the election by 3 am Eastern Standard Time, while the remaining states took longer. The Times noted that it took two weeks to call every state in 2020.

In the 2020 election, Pennsylvania voters cast approximately 4,216,000 ballots in person and 2,637,000 by mail-in ballots, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. Absentee ballots played a decisive role in Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania.

So there were about twice as many mail-in ballots to process in 2020 than in the current election cycle. Spotlight PA reported that 1.4 million Pennsylvanians asked to vote by mail, noting that most requests for absentee ballots came from urban areas with easy internet access and crowded polls, while rural voters tend to use the less crowded polls in their areas on Election day.

Then-President Donald Trump’s 600,000-vote lead in the state the morning after the election dwindled and eventually disappeared in the following days as absentee votes continued to be counted.

Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate John Fetterman is complaining about the counting process, even as he confidently states that he will be the victor after the counting is done.

Fetterman blames Republicans for the protocol of counting ballots on elections Day, rather than in the days before. In a swing state, ballot counting is the most crucial.

The six states that Joe Biden flipped in the 2020 presidential election are considered crucial in this midterm election, Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In this election, Nevada is also watched closely.

“Counting for ballots cast by mail and early in-person cannot begin until Election Day, thanks to the GOP-controlled legislature — an intentional move to help Republicans baselessly sow doubt about the election results when it suits them,” Fetterman wrote in a memo to “interested parties,” The Washington Post reported.

“Pennsylvania is one of only eight states that bans pre-processing of early mail-in ballots, forcing county officials to wait until 7 a.m. on Tuesday to begin opening returned ballots and scanning them into the system,” he added.

Fetterman pointed to the 1.4 million mail-in ballots requested and is predicting they will skew heavily Democratic when counted. The journalistic consortium Spotlight PA reported that roughly 70 percent of the mail-in ballot requests came from registered Democrats.

Fetterman predicted Monday that his Republican rival Dr. Mehmet Oz will take an early lead in their contest as returns come in on Election Day, but then will be surpassed due to the absentee ballots.

“The biggest share of absentee and mail ballot requests came from Allegheny County [which includes Pittsburgh] and Philadelphia — nearly a quarter of the total,” according to Spotlight. Both are Democratic strongholds in the Keystone State.

Counties near Philadelphia — Bucks, Montgomery, and Northampton — requested the next largest shares. All three went for President Joe Biden in 2020.

One could gauge the results of the ballots somewhat from the Numbers citing the Democrat registration of the voters who requested the ballots However, Fetterman actually said that a “dramatic” change would happen overnight as more ballots are processed, rather than an expected change.

“Because Pennsylvania is one of the only states that reports Election Day totals first before ballots cast by mail, and because more populated counties around Philadelphia can take longer to report, we should expect one of the most dramatic shifts in the country from initial GOP support in early results to stronger Democratic gains as more votes are processed,” Fetterman said.

Counties representatives from Allegheny, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties told Spotlight they expect ballot counting to be finished by Wednesday, the day after the election. A Bucks County representative estimated a Wednesday or Thursday completion. Meanwhile, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported last week most counties should be done counting by early Wednesday, Western Journal reported.

If so, that would be quicker than in 2020, when news organizations could not declare a winner in the presidential race until the Saturday following the election.

The Inquirer explained the delay caused by absentee ballot processing.

Starting at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, “Elections workers have to check the mailing envelopes to make sure requirements are met, such as ensuring voters signed them,” the Inquirer reported.

“Workers open the mailing envelopes and remove the ballots, which are inside second ‘secrecy’ envelopes. Then they open that second envelope and remove the ballots, unfold them, flatten them, and, finally, run them through high-speed scanners that read and count them,” the news outlet added.

Another issue in Pennsylvania is the “undated ballots” which are not counted due to incomplete information, and the ACLU is suing to have those ballots counted as well.

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