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Canvassing Process


The canvassing process and the results posted on this website


In 2020 Pennsylvania voters have more ways than ever to cast their vote. A voter can cast a mail-in ballot, an absentee ballot, or vote in person on Election Day at their polling place. The word “canvass” is an election term that means the counting, computing and tallying of the votes reflected on the ballots.


Because of the different ways a voter may cast their vote the time it takes to canvass the ballots varies. For example, the votes cast on election day at a polling place and scanned at the polling place will be known fairly quickly election night. By contrast, Dauphin County has received more than 65,000 applications for mail-in ballots and each and every one of those returned ballots must be dealt with by hand. Complicating matters even further the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has extended the time within which to receive mail-in ballots until November 6 provided they were postmarked on or before Election Day. And lastly, provisional ballots (a type of ballot for when a voter’s eligibility to vote is uncertain) require individual attention.


This website will periodically display unofficial results as the canvassing progresses. The reader is cautioned the numbers will fluctuate until all canvassing and legal challenges, if any, are completed and the final results are certified by the Dauphin County Board of Elections.