On October 29, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that election officials in several Pennsylvania counties debated how to alert voters that their mail-in ballot might not meet state requirements.
“Officials across Pennsylvania are trying to help voters fix mail ballots that would otherwise be disqualified because of technical mistakes in completing them, creating a patchwork of policies around how—or even whether—people are notified and given a chance to make their votes count,” reporter Jonathan Lai explained.
However, Lai’s article’s much bigger story is that election officials had already clearly violated the law by inspecting mail-in ballots before November 3. According to Pennsylvania’s election rules, county election boards were required to “safely keep the ballots in sealed or locked containers” until pre-canvassing legally began at 7 a.m. on Election Day.
Not only did they mishandle an unknown number of mail-in ballots, but they also did so while no election observers were present at the inspections.
Republican Sean Parnell and US Representative Mike Kelly have filed a lawsuit that claimed Act 77 — a law signed in 2019 by Democratic Governor Tom Wolf to extensively relax the state’s mail-in voting rules, including a “no excuse needed” provision, is unconstitutional.
“Mail-in voting, in the form implemented through Act 77 is an attempt by the legislature to overhaul the Pennsylvania voting system and permit universal fundamentally, no excuse, mail-in voting absent any constitutional authority.”
To make matters worse, Dominion Voting Systems backed out of a scheduled public hearing. In response, Republican state lawmakers have threatened to subpoena executives from the company.