An October 29 story in the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that election officials in several Pennsylvania counties were debating 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. Some jurisdictions were contacting voters directly; one county, according to the paper, sent the “flawed” ballots back to the voters.
But there was a much bigger story behind Lai’s article: Election officials 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.Read More