Pennsylvanians Scurry To Fix Mail-in Ballots After Ruling

by | Nov 8, 2022 | Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Some of Pennsylvania’s largest counties scrambled Monday to help voters fix mail-in ballots that have fatal flaws such as incorrect dates or missing signatures on the envelopes used to send them in, bringing about confusion and legal challenges in the battleground state on the eve of the election.Elections officials in Philadelphia and Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh, announced measures they were taking in response to state Supreme Court rulings in recent days that said mail-in ballots may not be counted if they lack accurate handwritten dates on the exterior envelopes.AdvertisementAhead of Tuesday’s midterms, more than a million mail-in and absentee ballots have already been returned in Pennsylvania, with Democrats far more likely than Republicans to vote by mail. The numbers are large enough that they might matter in a close race, such as the contest between Democrat John Fetterman and Republican Mehmet Oz that could determine majority control of the U.S. Senate.The Department of State said it was unclear just how many ballots are at issue across the state. The agency over the weekend asked counties to provide the numbers, broken down by political party. Officials said some counties were not letting voters fix their mistakes.Lines formed at City Hall in downtown Philadelphia on Monday and over the weekend with voters waiting to correct their ballots. Some people on social media said the office did not get to everyone Monday.Voters wait in line to make corrections to their ballots for the midterm elections at City Hall in Philadelphia, on Nov. 7, 2022. AP Photo/Matt RourkeAdvertisementThe Pennsylvania litigation was filed by Republican groups and is among legal efforts by both political parties in multiple states to have courts sort out disputes over voting rules and procedures ahead of the midterm election.A new federal lawsuit over the envelope dates was filed Monday in Pittsburgh federal court by the national congressional and senatorial Democratic campaign organizations, two Democratic voters and Fetterman’s U.S. Senate campaign. They sued county boards of election across the state, arguing that throwing out ballots that lack proper envelope dates would violate a provision in the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act that says people can’t be kept from voting based on what the lawsuit calls “needless technical requirements.”A separate federal lawsuit filed Friday makes a similar argument.In Wisconsin, the Republican chair of the state Assembly’s elections committee, along with a veterans group and other voters, filed a lawsuit Friday seeking a court order requiring the sequestering of military absentee ballots in the bat …

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