Westmoreland County highlights poll watching process

Elections officials in Westmoreland County worked through the day Thursday to process and count approximately 4,000 remaining mail-in ballots. As lawyers for President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia over poll watchers, officials in Westmoreland County said the process was smooth and anyone from any campaign that wanted to observe the counting was granted access to both of the rooms where ballots were being processed and counted.”There are no processes in elections that can occur in a back room with all the doors closed and the shades down,” Westmoreland County Commissioner Doug Chew said.When the county first started processing the ballots on Election Day, commissioners said as many as two dozen representatives from multiple campaigns were at the courthouse to watch the process. That number dropped significantly throughout the day as the process wore on.”They have full access to the rooms to watch everything, but at this time there might only be one or two from each party,” Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli said.Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 spoke with one person watching the process, claiming to represent the Trump campaign. That person said two people from the campaign were granted access and watched as the majority of the ballots were counted.An appellate judge in Philadelphia ruled in favor of allowing poll watchers in Philadelphia County to get as close as 6 feet of where the count is taking place. Reports indicated poll watchers were initially kept at least 20 feet from the counting areas. Westmoreland County officials said approximately 4,000 mail-in ballots were still being processed as of Thursday afternoon. There are an estimated 3,600 provisional ballots in the county and officials will be able to start processing those Friday morning.

GREENSBURG, Pa. —

Elections officials in Westmoreland County worked through the day Thursday to process and count approximately 4,000 remaining mail-in ballots.

As lawyers for President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit in Philadelphia over poll watchers, officials in Westmoreland County said the process was smooth and anyone from any campaign that wanted to observe the counting was granted access to both of the rooms where ballots were being processed and counted.

“There are no processes in elections that can occur in a back room with all the doors closed and the shades down,” Westmoreland County Commissioner Doug Chew said.

When the county first started processing the ballots on Election Day, commissioners said as many as two dozen representatives from multiple campaigns were at the courthouse to watch the process. That number dropped significantly throughout the day as the process wore on.

“They have full access to the rooms to watch everything, but at this time there might only be one or two from each party,” Westmoreland County Commissioner Gina Cerilli said.

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 spoke with one person watching the process, claiming to represent the Trump campaign. That person said two people from the campaign were granted access and watched as the majority of the ballots were counted.

An appellate judge in Philadelphia ruled in favor of allowing poll watchers in Philadelphia County to get as close as 6 feet of where the count is taking place. Reports indicated poll watchers were initially kept at least 20 feet from the counting areas.

Westmoreland County officials said approximately 4,000 mail-in ballots were still being processed as of Thursday afternoon. There are an estimated 3,600 provisional ballots in the county and officials will be able to start processing those Friday morning.

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