Election 2020: Ballot counting is underway in New Jersey

Trish Hartman Image
Monday, October 26, 2020
Ballot counting is underway in New Jersey
Ballot counting is underway in New Jersey as the state was allowed to begin the process on Saturday.

BLACKWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Ballot counting is underway in New Jersey as the state was allowed to begin the process on Saturday - 10 days before the election.

With a mostly mail-in election in the Garden State this year, election workers say they are grateful for the extra time.

Cars rolled up to the Camden County Elections and Archive Center to drop off their mail-in ballots on Monday.

"I prefer that people bring it in and drop it off because I feel it's safer," said Alvina Furlow Moore, of Berlin.

RELATED: Election resources for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware

Inside, the election center was full of tables. A Democrat and a Republican work at each, opening envelopes and preparing ballots for the scanning machine, which will count them. But the results won't be made public until November 3.

"The results are still secret until Election Day. We will start counting probably tomorrow and no one will know what those results are," said Camden County Board of Elections Commissioner Richard Ambrosio.

If you choose to go to a New Jersey polling place on Election Day, it will look different than in years past. Most people will be handed a paper ballot. There will be a voting machine, but officials say it's reserved for those with disabilities who cannot fill out a paper ballot.

The machines headed to Camden County polling places were loaded up on Monday.

In Pennsylvania, officials cannot prepare ballots for counting - a process called pre-canvassing - before Election Day.

On Monday, Action News got a tour of the Pennsylvania Convention Center where mail-in ballots will be counted. For now, officials say they're kept under lock and key, and the unopened envelopes are being sorted by location.

Many Pennsylvania counties pushed for the ability to process ballots early, but because legislation that would have allowed for pre-canvassing did not go through, Pennsylvania's crucial election results may take a few days longer.

"As those numbers change, it certainly doesn't mean that there's any kind of fraud or that there's anything wrong with the election, it's just as we keep counting the numbers are going to change," said Lisa Schaefer, executive director of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania.

New Jersey counties had the opportunity to request assistance from the Army National Guard for the mostly mail-in election.

In Camden County, 16 members are expected Tuesday. County election officials say they'll help with duties ranging from ballot intake to crowd control on Election Day.