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A Slow Count

Pennsylvania could see days-long delays in midterm results

All eyes are on Pennsylvania on Tuesday, as midterm elections in the Keystone State could go a long way toward deciding the balance of power in Congress. However, the results of some key races in the state may not be known for days, experts say.

Particular scrutiny was placed on Philadelphia, where The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that officials in the state's largest city voted Tuesday morning to "reinstate a time-consuming and labor-intensive process for catching double votes that will slow how quickly they can report results." This decision, which came on the back of pressure from a Republican lawsuit, means it will likely take a number of days to tabulate all the votes from the city. 

In particular, this could have an impact on the state's high-profile Senate race, where Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz are in a neck-and-neck battle. 

Beyond this, NPR noted that many states allow early "pre-canvassing" of mail-in votes — that is, tasks such as checking voter signatures, taking out ballots, and preparing them for scanning as they come in. However, Pennsylvania is one of a number of states where pre-canvassing cannot legally start until 7 a.m. on Election Day. 

This will add to the turnaround time for poll workers across the state, but officials stressed that delays in counting did not translate to any voter fraud

"Unofficial results will be available within a few days of the election, and it's critically important for everyone to understand that this delay does not mean anything nefarious is happening," Pennsylvania's acting secretary of state Leigh Chapman said in a statement.