How will your mail-in ballot be counted? ABC27 News gets a look in Lancaster County

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LANCASTER, Pa (WHTM) – There will be a record number of mail-in ballots cast this Election Day.

In Lancaster County, election officials expect to get 120,000 mail-in ballots this year.

“We’ve been working all summer long on plans, hardware, and processes to operate as efficiently and securely as possible,” Randall Wenger, Lancaster County Election Director, said.

Wenger showed ABC27 News a new machine Lancaster County has that already helped process some of the mail-in ballots.

Wenger said the counting of the votes will not start until Election Day.

“Our goal is to get as many of them counted election night.” Wenger said.

The U.S. Supreme Court just ruled that mail-in ballots will be counted as long as they’re received the Friday after Election Day.

Wenger said in order to count mail-in ballots as quickly as possible officials will set up a mammoth counting operation at the Lancaster County Convention Center.

Wenger said there will be 150 volunteers, socially distanced, opening the envelopes and processing them. Ballot scanners will then count the votes.

“There will be an accounting process both before and after,” Wenger explained. “(It will) start with an inventory of how many ballots we have received from voters in those voting districts and it will account for all of those envelopes we received and whether there were ballots. The math will add up so we know we’ve accounted for everything.”

Delegates from each party, and candidate, can watch the process unfold.

Sheriffs deputies will be on hand for security.

“We are looking to have things run safely, accurately, and efficiently,” Wenger said.

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