Westmoreland Co. leaders scrambling for solution as thousands still waiting for mail-in ballots

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — Many people are asking where their ballots are and why it is taking so long for them to arrive.

In Westmoreland County, the voting woes continue with leaders scrambling to find a solution as thousands of people still don’t have their mail-in ballots. County leaders said about 68,000 mail-in ballots have been processed and about 64,000 have been sent out already.

Leaders said the dates listed online for when ballots should have been sent out are wrong.

“It was very difficult for everybody, so this time we followed suit with the major counties that have major populations. That’s why we chose (to go) through a third party vendor, expecting 100,000 ballots,” Westmoreland County Commissioner Sean Kertes said.

The county hired Midwest Direct out of Cleveland, Ohio to handle the mail-in ballots.

“They’re overwhelmed and they’re going to get them out and they’re assuring us of that,” Kertes said.

Kertes said while delays are painful, they don’t want to be in the same boat as their neighbors in Allegheny County.

“There were 28-29,000 ballots that were messed up and it was a disaster for Allegheny County. We want to make sure it’s done correctly,” he said.

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“This vendor was one of the cheapest and they had a mechanism to ensure accuracy,” Westmoreland County Commissioner Doug Chew said.

County leaders said they have not yet made a decision on whether or not they may need to intervene and send out additional ballots on their own.

Ballots received up to three days after the election will be counted in Pennsylvania, even if they don’t have a clear postmark. That ruling was just upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.