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Election officials should be lauded for perseverance

Our hats go off today to Lycoming County Voter Services — and like offices in other counties — as they toil to count amid a certain level of chaos.

Phones ringing off the hook, we are told.

People angry for a host of reasons related to their ballots.

Folks with little patience to allow election workers to focus on the task at hand.

And some who just do not trust the system or believe the results will be complete and accurate.

It has not been an easy week for election workers, what with dealing with massive voter turnout both at the polls and with a mountain of mail-in ballots — ballots that Pennsylvania’s Republican-controlled Legislature would not allow to be pre-canvassed ahead of Tuesday’s election.

That, despite the fact that county election officials statewide were crying out for this measure.

Sure, there had been some negotiating between the GOP and Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf to put what should have been a simple fix in place, but the negotiations fell through and then the legislative session ended.

So why all of the bellyaching that is going on now about why the count is taking so long? It had to be expected.

Add to that the lawsuits.

We are stunned — what kind of political game is being played here?

We do not know, but of one thing we have a strong opinion — Forrest Lehman, director of Voter Services here, and his staff have done the best that was possible under the restrictions and circumstances they faced.

They have handled the election and the count with diligence and without shying away from the challenges.

Not once did they throw their hands up in surrender.

So come on, people, let them focus on the count free of unnecessary interruption. In that way, we can support an outcome truly representative of how we voted.

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