Pennsylvania county begins state’s largest hand recount of the 2020 election — here’s how it’s going

More than two years after the last ballot was cast in the 2020 election, Lycoming County plans to recount all presidential votes by hand — an extraordinary step no other Pennsylvania county has taken. 

County commissioners ordered the recount under pressure from activists associated with an election conspiracy group and against the advice of the local election director, who told proponents it would be a poor use of resources and unlikely to show the fraud they feared.

Forrest Lehman, the county’s election director, doesn’t think the recount will convince election skeptics to trust the process. 

“I think there’s 5,000 people out there who signed a petition indicating at least some level of mistrust or misunderstanding on how our elections works and I think at some level that will always be there,” he said.

Expertsacademics, and local officials, including Lehman, have repeatedly pointed out the inaccuracy of hand recounts, which introduce more potential for human error than machine counting. Lehman also noted that the county already performs audits after each election to ensure accuracy.