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Pennsylvania orders counties to separate provisional ballots from count while court makes a decision

A Pennsylvania court will determine whether some provisional ballots cast on Election Day should be counted if the voter had originally voted by mail or with an absentee ballot.

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Election workers process ballots in Easton, PA, Nov. 3
Election workers process ballots in Easton, PA, Nov. 3
(KENA BETANCUR/Getty)
Updated: November 7, 2020 - 11:11am

The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania told election officials Friday afternoon to "segregate and secure" provisional ballots cast on Election Day when the voter's absentee or mail-in ballot was received on time by a county board of election.

The state is waiting for the court to determine the validity of the provisional ballots and whether they should be counted in the election if a voter had already cast an absentee or mail-in ballot on time — then wanted a provisional ballot instead on Election Day. In the meantime, the ballots are to be set aside as a decision is made.

The directive was sent in an email to county election officials from the state Deputy Secretary for Elections and Commissions Jonathan M. Marks.

In the email, Marks "urged" recipients to comply with the court's directive, saying that more information will be provided soon.

Roughly 40,000 ballots, with the majority being provisional and military ballots, are allegedly still being counted in Philadelphia, the largest city in the state.

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