While ‘Election Day’ has technically come and gone, the election process remains ongoing at levels previously unseen before in the United States due to the unprecedented number of registered voters who chose to submit their ballots through the mail this election cycle.
One of the states that most heavily opted to vote by mail in this election has been Pennsylvania, and Allegheny County has been among the most significant counties in the entire country with regard to the amount of absentee ballots that they have to process.
The long and short of it is that while the voting has long been over, the counting remains ongoing, and it’s not even clear just how much longer it might take. What we do know, however, is that election volunteers remain hard at work, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are not letting that go unrecognized.
According to NBC News photographer Paul Rigney, the Steelers, who of course are located in Allegheny County, are buying dinner for all of the election workers who remain on duty tonight. It’s a great gesture to show appreciation for a very important and critical civic duty, and certainly not one that is by any measure out of character for the organization.
At the Allegheny County ballot counting site here in Pittsburgh, I can report that the Pittsburgh Steelers are buying dinner for all the workers here this evening.
— Paul Rigney (@PaulRRigney) November 4, 2020
The Steelers have a long history of being active in giving back to their community in many different forms going back to the 1930s with founder Art Rooney, Sr., more affectionately known as The Chief, and this sense of communal responsibility has been passed down to his son, the late Dan Rooney, and to his grandson, Art Rooney II, who remains the team’s chief owner.
Pennsylvania is not the only state in which election officials remain at work. While races in at least Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, and Nevada also remain uncalled by at least some major news outlets (some, such as Fox and the Associated Press, have already called Arizona), election officials are still processing absentee ballots in virtually every state, regardless of whether or not the race in their state has been officially ‘called’ or not.
Driven primarily by the coronavirus pandemic, we saw a seismic shift in this election cycle in the manner in which registered voters have chosen to vote. More than half of all expected voters did so by mail this year, with roughly 100,000,000 ballots received prior to ‘Election Day’ yesterday.
Already, the 2020 election has seen the largest recorded turnout in the nation’s history, and both candidates from the two major parties have registered the two highest totals in votes in election history. It also marks the largest turnout of registered voters by percentage since 1900, 120 years ago, which is remarkable.
All of that simply means that the work that these volunteers are doing is more important than ever. This is an election unlike any other due to the pandemic, and it seems that, by and large, things have still managed to be processed relatively smoothly as far as the mechanics of the actual voting process goes.
Brooke Pryor of ESPN added further detail to the story, noting that it is a group of players who are behind the effort to feed the election workers, not necessarily an act taken on at an organizational level.
A couple Steelers players are behind this, I’m told – not necessarily an organization-wide thing.
Still, really classy move by these guys to buy dinner for the workers at the Allegheny County ballot counting site tonight. https://t.co/bstLRuGd9z
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) November 4, 2020