By Joe Holden

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — Workers throughout Pennsylvania counties are busy tabulating ballots, even under the watchful eye of an anxious nation. Chester County election officials say despite the country holding its breath for those still counting votes, the process has been smooth.

The count continues and so does the wait.

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The stress and anxiety from extreme gravitational forces of a presidential election are left at the door. The workers inside this West Chester gym carry on with a single goal in mind — to get it right, according to Deputy Director for Voter Services Alexis Barsamian.

The work is done by hand and paper cuts come with the job. Opening, un-creasing, sorting and folding, loading and scanning have gone on non-stop since Tuesday at 7 a.m.

“There’s a very happy vibe in that room, just working. Nothing political, nothing along those lines but just people really there, excited to be a part of something really greater than themselves,” Barsamian said.

Outside this room, patience is fleeting and people admittedly want results.

“I get mail-in ballots takes time to count and allow that, but we knew this was going to happen ahead of time so it would have been nice if they planned around that to get people an answer when they expect it,” voter Steve Seymour said.

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Paper ballots are the so-called gold standard, and while the temptation to use electronic or online voting platforms is strong, officials say paper eliminates any possibility of a cyber influence.

“Paper ballots are the gold standard but they require a lot of work, a lot of back folding, a lot of rolling, a lot of manipulation to get to a place where they’re going to go easily through the high-speed scanners, it’s very delicate, it’s very accurate,” Barsamian said.

Chester County voting officials described the process as one that went very smoothly with poll workers from both parties collaborating, their attorneys as well, to make sure everyone was on the same page even crafting policy as things went forward.


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