John Fetterman Drops Bizarre Statement About How Votes Will Be Counted in Pennsylvania

AP Photo/Ryan Collerd

The race for the senate in Pennsylvania could not be closer. Polls have shown a late-breaking lead for Republican Mehmet Oz, but the dynamics of the electorate in the state likely make Democrat John Fetterman a slight favorite.


Perhaps the most impactful factor is that early voting was well underway before Fetterman’s disastrous debate performance illustrated he is clearly not fit for office. Still, there are signs that the Democrat’s confidence is waning.

On Monday, Fetterman dropped a bizarre statement telling people to “buckle up for a long week” in regard to counting ballots, stating it could take “several days” before we know a winner.

“Several” is more than a “couple,” so it appears that Fetterman is saying that we won’t know the results until at least Friday. His mention of a long “week” further clarifies his meaning. But there’s a problem with his statement. Namely, that it’s false, which begs the question of what in the world he’s even talking about.

Pennsylvania has streamlined how they will count ballots this cycle after the cluster that was the 2020 election. Early votes and mail-in ballots will begin to be processed Tuesday at 7:00 AM. Counties are expected to report almost everything on election night. Further, if there are any outstanding ballots, those must be posted by 2:00 AM Wednesday.

The idea that we will still have large chunks of uncounted votes into Thursday and Friday should not be true unless Fetterman knows something we all don’t. If anything, he seems to be sowing distrust in the system, or perhaps he’s setting the stage for legal challenges in the event Oz is crowned a close winner sometime Wednesday.


Whatever the reason, a guy who is already facing questions about his cognitive ability probably shouldn’t be spreading false information. Besides, none of this helps restore faith in our elections. Warning the press not to call a race because ballots counted days later will shift things is the kind of preemption best left unsaid. Fetterman should explain exactly what makes him think a difference-making number of ballots will still be uncounted late in the week. If he can’t, then he never should have put this statement out.

I’m going to chalk this up to weakness. Fetterman knows he’s running behind now and that the debate hurt him. He wants to keep hope alive as long as possible with his supporters, even if it’s clear Oz is victorious on Wednesday. Given the out-sized ambition of Fettermans’ wife, I can’t see them going away quietly. If this thing is close, there’s going to be a lot of shenanigans taking place.


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