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Challenges to Montgomery County ballots likely to determine Pa. House control

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Challenges to Montgomery County ballots likely to determine Pa. House control

Nov 16, 2022 | 5:46 pm ET
By Peter Hall
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Challenges to Montgomery County ballots likely to determine Pa. House control
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You need to be prepared so you can vote on Election Day (AP Photo by Charles Krupa/The Conversation).

Control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives likely will be determined by 59 provisional ballots in Montgomery County’s closely contested 151st Legislative District. 

Democratic challenger Melissa Ceratto holds a 37-vote lead over incumbent Republican state Rep. Todd Stephens, a spokesperson for Montgomery County said.

Earlier this week, Stephens held a 14-vote lead.

Democrats won 101 of the 203 seats in the House and need one more to take the majority.

County spokesperson Kelly Cofranciso said Wednesday the board of elections had completed counting all outstanding ballots except for provisional ballots. 

Those include absentee and mail-in ballots for which voters had yet to provide identification. State and federal laws give mail-in and absentee voters to provide verification of their identity up to six days after the election, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State.

Provisional ballots are cast by voters who receive mail-in ballots but decide to vote in person or whose qualification to vote cannot be verified at a polling place. 

A hearing is scheduled Friday for the board of elections to decide challenges to the provisional ballots, Cofranciso said.

Bucks County spokesperson James O’Malley said challenges to 47 provisional ballots cast in the 142nd Legislative District will be decided at a hearing Tuesday.

Republican Joseph Hogan holds a 114-vote lead over Democrat Mark Moffa in the 142nd District.