By Joe Holden

DEVON, Pa. (CBS) — Voters in the suburbs of Pennsylvania are playing a crucial role in this year’s presidential election as the commonwealth is a key battleground state.

There was a rush of voters Tuesday morning — the first voter lined up at 6:05 a.m. and many followed behind him.

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The vote count is already underway in Pennsylvania counties. Chester County gave us a look-see into the process.

Shifts of workers will tabulate the 140,000-plus mail-in ballots. Machines open the envelopes while there’s inspecting and eyeballing. Then comes the smoothing of ballots, the crease-flattening and unfolding.

It’s then off to the sorter and then one of three high-efficiency scanners.

“It’s glamorous, very glamorous. It is unfolding how I’d imagined it. It takes a lot of planning but you have to be really flexible at the same time,” said Alexis Barsamiam, deputy director of Voter Services in Chester County.

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In Delaware County, poll lines were expectedly long. Some curious voters used spouses for look-outs to check on things.

“My husband drove around, my husband was in between jobs. I said, ‘Bill, drive down the street and see what’s going on.’ I said this way I’ll know what to wear, what not to wear if I can. And he did, he says, ‘Oh, you’re good to go, go ahead.’ So that was helpful,” voter Kathy Perna said,

John Dewees of Havertown described the process. Pennsylvania mandated paper ballots, many in the form of old-school standardized tests, but without the No. 2 pencil.

“It’s alright and very straight forward. Fill in the box for whoever you want, there’s no option to pick all Republican, all Democrat, you had to pick each individual, which I like more. It gives you more options than just thinking right down the party line, it means you can be flexible with whoever you want,” Dewees said.

Things are running very smoothly at the polls in the suburbs.


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