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Bucks Board of Elections Certifies Election Results

November 23, 2020

Contact: James O’Malley, 215-348-6414, jtomalley@buckscounty.org

Bucks County’s Board of Elections on Monday certified unanimously the returns of the 2020 General Election, making official the results in dozens of contests including a presidential race that drew heavy scrutiny amid record voter participation.

Certification also marks the end of county election workers’ herculean effort to tally the flood of mail-in and absentee ballots cast this year.

Just shy of 82 percent of Bucks County’s 487,986 registered voters cast ballots in this year’s election, according to certified results. The figures mark a six-point increase in turnout compared to the 2016 presidential election, and represent the most votes cast in any election in Bucks County.

At the top of the ticket, President-elect Joseph R. Biden bested President Donald J. Trump among Bucks County voters by a margin of more than 4 percentage points. Incumbents prevailed in most other races, with the exception of the 143rd state house district, where Republican Shelby Labs claimed a roughly 1,400-vote edge over Democratic state Rep. Wendy Ullman.

Of those who voted, 165,772 participated by mail-in or absentee ballot. As a result of the unprecedented volume, Election Night became Election Week as some 300 election workers processed and counted ballots around the clock. The count proceeded for several days, all under the watch of advocates and attorneys representing both political parties.

“We thank the staff here at the Board of Elections, [including Director Thomas] Freitag and all of the staff who have worked unbelievably hard through this election,” Commissioner Bob Harvie said Monday.

Harvie, who chairs the Board of Elections, also lauded the board’s team of lawyers, led by attorney Jessica VanderKam, for its “outstanding” work navigating the host of legal challenges arising from the election.

In the minutes before Monday’s certification meeting, one such challenge out of Bucks County earned a mention in a ruling from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Among findings related to other counties, the ruling reinforced last week’s decision by a Bucks County judge to deny a Trump campaign challenge to some 2,200 votes.

Originally set for noon, the Board of Elections opted to delay its meeting until 3:45 p.m. based on the expectation a Supreme Court opinion was imminent. The board reconvened via Zoom in the wake of the ruling and broadcast over Facebook Live as Harvie, joined by fellow County Commissioners Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia and Gene DiGirolamo voted to certify the election results.