HARRISBURG, Pa. – Pennsylvania’s secretary of state said Thursday that “we definitely could” know which presidential candidate will win the battleground state by the end of the day.
Secretary Kathy Boockvar made the comment when asked about the results during an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Thursday.
“You know, I’ve been saying that we’ll have the overwhelming majority counted by tomorrow, but it’s looking like we’ll have the overwhelming majority counted by today,” Boockvar said.
During the interview taped at about 1:33 p.m. ET, Boockvar added that there were about 550,000 ballots that were still in the process of being counted. By 5:45 p.m., the number of ballots left to be counted dwindled to 326,000 ballots. At that point, Trump's lead dropped to 90,000.
“Some of those may have already been counted but are not yet uploaded, but yeah, they’re coming in,” she said. “We’re getting 10,000 here, 20,000 here. Counties are furiously at work and it’s looking like we’re ahead of schedule.”
Boockvar said most of the mail-in ballots left to be counted are from the state’s larger cities and the communities that surround them, meaning they may favor former Vice President Joe Biden.
Pennsylvania is one of the few remaining states that haven’t been called in a presidential candidate’s favor and it could end up determining who’s in the White House come January. It’s likely a must win for President Donald Trump to reach the 270 electoral votes needed for victory.
Boockvar delivered an early evening update on Thursday. She said that once the mail-in votes are counted, the state will begin counting overseas military ballots and provisional ballots. Boockvar could not give a figure on how many ballots are left there.
According to Matthew Weil with the Bipartisan Policy Center, The Keystone State is taking a long time to count their votes because of an influx of absentee and mail-in ballots, in numbers Pennsylvania hasn’t ever dealt with before.
“In some of the biggest jurisdictions – Philadelphia, Pittsburgh – they just didn't have the experience counting those quickly,” Weil said. “And the fact that the legislature did not give them time before Election Day to count those, even knowing that this was coming, means that most likely we're not going to have great results until Friday.”