Ex-Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge hospitalized

FILE - In this Oct. 22, 2011, file photo, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge speaks to a crowd of hundreds protesting in front of the White House in Washington. A spokesman says Ridge is in critical condition after undergoing an emergency heart procedure at a hospital in Austin, Texas.

Pennsylvania’s Gov. Tom Wolf and two of his predecessors — Democrat Ed Rendell and Republican Tom Ridge — continued to urge voters to be patient as election officials count more than 2.5 million mail-in ballots.

“Last week, the Steelers were down at halftime and the Eagles were losing at halftime and they both came out victorious,” Ridge said. “The game is not over.”

Rendell said that it’s not uncommon for election results to be delayed.

“Somehow there is a myth that counting votes after Election Day is new,” Rendell said. “Most election counting continues for a day or two after the election,” he said.

Ridge and Rendell made their comments on a call with reporters Wednesday morning.

Early Wednesday, President Donald Trump threatened legal action as his advantage in Pennsylvania and other battleground states began to give way as states counted ballots submitted by mail.

“Last night I was leading, often solidly, in many key States, in almost all instances Democrat run & controlled,” Trump tweeted. “Then, one by one, they started to magically disappear as surprise ballot dumps were counted. VERY STRANGE, and the ‘pollsters’ got it completely & historically wrong!”

Gov. Tom Wolf said his administration will “vigorously” fight any effort to stop vote-counting or challenge ballots.

“Our Democracy is being tested,” he said at a press conference in an expo hall at the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex.

Wolf vowed to defend the principle that “one-person, one-vote still carries.”

State data suggests that by Wednesday morning there were still 1.35 million uncounted mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, more than half of those cast by mail. The bulk of those uncounted ballots come from Allegheny County, Philadelphia and the suburban counties around Philadelphia, where Biden would expect to get the majority of the votes.

Shortly before noon, Trump was leading former Vice President Joe Biden by 500,000 votes in Pennsylvania — 2.91 million votes to 2.42 million.

Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar told reporters that the number of mail-in ballots could still increase depending on how many arrived on Tuesday and whether or not counties have reported them to the state.

The state Supreme Court has also ruled that counties should accept and count mail-in ballots that arrive through Friday. Republicans have repeatedly sought to get the U.S. Supreme Court to bar those votes from being counted and the Department of State has told counties to count those votes, but to also segregate the ballots in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court does take action and direct the state not to count them.

John Finnerty reports from the Harrisburg Bureau for the New Castle News and other Pennsylvania newspapers owned by CNHI. Email him at jfinnerty@cnhi.com and follow him on Twitter @cnhipa.

 

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CNHI PA State Reporter

John Finnerty reports from the Harrisburg Bureau for the New Castle News and other Pennsylvania newspapers owned by CNHI. Email him at jfinnerty@cnhi.com and follow him on Twitter @cnhipa.

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