HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Counting of Pennsylvania ballots continued Wednesday, with results still unclear for the presidential contest as well as a host of down-ballot races, including for congressional seats and three row offices.
Election officials are tabulating ballots in a state that held its first general election in which voters did not need an excuse to vote by mail. More than 3 million applied to do so.
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are hotly contesting Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, with both campaigns seeing a victory in the state as crucial to their chances of winning the White House.
The candidates visited at least once a week since the beginning of September, and more money has been spent on political advertising only in Florida, according to the political ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.
In 2016, Trump won Pennsylvania by a mere 44,292 votes, or less than 1 percentage point, and any slight shift in part of the electorate this year is significant, campaign strategists say.
Meanwhile, the Trump campaign, state election officials, Republican candidates and others have gone to court in recent weeks to settle fights over aspects of state election law, particularly its year-old law that greatly expanded mail-in voting. Litigation continued on the day of voting, and more could be ahead.
Trump’s victory in 2016 made him the first Republican to win Pennsylvania since 1988. No Democrat has lost Pennsylvania but won the White House since Harry Truman in 1948.