PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today is one week since Pennsylvania’s primary elections and we are still waiting to know the outcomes in some races in Philadelphia. The delay is because of an overwhelming amount of mail-in ballots.
So, for now, some candidates are still having to hold off their victory parties.
“You expect a certain outcome election night and having to wait several weeks is difficult,” Nikil Saval, of South Philadelphia, said.
He is on pins and needles as he waits a seventh day for the results of his state senate race.
The progressive launched his campaign back in December for control of Pennsylvania’s 1st State Senate District.
It includes parts of South and Southwest Philly, Center City and Port Richmond.
It’s also a district Saval’s Democratic competitor, Sen. Larry Farnese, has controlled for more than a decade. But that could end.
Saval now has more than 60% of in-person votes. Still, he’s holding off from claiming victory because mail-in ballots are still being counted.
“We are committed to seeing the process through,” he said.
Last week, the Philadelphia Commissioner’s Office tweeted a photo of mail-in ballots it received in the wake of the pandemic.
Officials say Philadelphia alone has requested more mail ballots for last week’s primary than all of Pennsylvania did four years ago.
— Philadelphia City Commissioners (@PhillyVotes) June 3, 2020
“This is the first time we’ve ever had this many mail-in ballots ever in the City of Philadelphia,” City Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson said.
“I think everyone is in a holding pattern,” Marisa Shaaban said.
She is also anxiously waiting for election results too.
The Democrat is facing off against incumbent Brian Sims for a State Representative seat that includes Center City.
“Democracy has to run its course so I’m OK with waiting on that,” Shaaban said.
It could take weeks before all mail-in ballots are counted.
But city officials are also learning how to better handle an influx of mail ballots so they can have results out quicker for the general election in November.
Meantime, some races have already been called. In Montgomery County, Amanda Cappelletti declared victory over her competitor, Sen. Daylin Leach.
“It was part and parcel why I ran and I don’t think I hid from that. And I think that’s why the change was so welcomed,” Cappeletti said.