In Philadelphia, officials are estimating they could have to process more than 350,000 returned absentee ballots from the over 425,000 requested by voters.
Beginning at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, officials will begin processing the ballots, organized by precinct, and scanning them for signatures. Signed ballots will go through extraction machines, which have suction cups to open envelopes that allow staff to remove ballots in the inner secrecy envelopes.
Ballots without secrecy envelopes, known as naked ballots, will be discarded, in accordance with a September state Supreme Court ruling. But poll workers can reach out to voters and offer them provisional ballots to fill out at a polling site in-person.
Once removed from the secrecy envelopes and verified, ballots are unfolded by staff and prepared for processing by the city’s 12 high-speed scanners, which can process 32,000 ballots every hour.
The city plans to post the results of the absentee and mail-in ballots scanned on Election Day after polls close on Tuesday night, and the last voting machine results are received, Deeley said.
Updated counts will be posted four times on Nov. 4, and at least twice a day the rest of the week until every vote is counted.
“I feel confident that the overwhelming majority will be counted by Friday, if not before,” Kathy Boockvar, the Pennsylvania secretary of the commonwealth, told reporters on Friday.